Gluten. It’s one of the hottest subjects in nutrition out there. Is it really so harmful as many picture it? What is this all gluten craze exactly about? Keep on reading to discover all the most important facts about gluten and its influence on the human body.
What exactly is gluten? It’s a family of different proteins which give the dough its elasticity and allow the bread to grow and make it deliciously chewy and fluffy. And yes, as many super tasty things gluten has its darker side. It can make you feel miserable if you are gluten intolerant but keep on munching on products that have it.
Gluten intolerance is a very tricky matter. Why so? Because even medical tests can’t give you a clear answer if you are gluten-sensitive. It is so because gluten is not only one substance but a whole family of different compounds found in various grains. Unfortunately, the available blood tests are able to check your reaction to only a few of them.
What does it mean for you? That to really find out if you have gluten intolerance you just have to watch your body and how you feel after consuming gluten. It’s not an easy task since many symptoms can appear with a significant delay. Fatigue, weight gain, headaches, and plenty of different digestive problems such as bloating, stomachache and irritable bowel syndrome can all be caused by gluten intolerance.
Gluten intolerance results in symptoms that can be misinterpreted very easily since they can last even weeks after consuming a meal containing gluten. Such prolonged symptoms are often mistaken for signs of an autoimmune disease, such as Hashimoto’s and many others.
There’s no easy way to check if you’re gluten intolerant. The best what you can do is to write down every little symptom that you currently have and don’t ignore anything, even if you suspect it’s not because of gluten, write it down anyways. Now the hard part – you must say au revoir to gluten for 60 days. I’m not going to lie and tell you that it’s easy – I’ve been through it myself and there’s nothing nice about it. You have to stop eating all the grains that contain gluten – wheat, rye, spelt, barley, oats, and triticale. Believe me, plenty of foods contain it, so remember to read the labels thoroughly!
The good news is that you can still eat plenty of other foods and that there are plenty of gluten-free options on the market, including pasta and pizza. And they even taste really good! So after the 60 days of your gluten-free challenge are over, think about all the symptoms that are still there. If the majority of your health issues are gone, you can be sure that you are gluten intolerant.
As hard as ditching gluten may seem now, I can guarantee you that once you feel full of energy and without all these different health issues robbing you of your quality of life, you’ll never miss gluten again!