Gluten free is everywhere you go. Restaurants have gluten free menu’s and your local grocery store is packed with gluten free processed food. Gluten Free is advertised to us 24/7.

Are these options truly gluten free? We have been told by many doctors and the food industry that these choices are healthy options to use since gluten must come out of our diet. People are eating gluten free processed food and many wonder why they aren’t getting well or have other health problems. This a question for anyone eating gluten free to look at because this affects us getting and staying healthy. There are many myths around eating gluten free. These myths can keep someone sick and prevent them from ever getting healthy.

The first myth that we are going to talk about it is that gluten is found only in barley, wheat and rye. Gluten is not a single protein found in these 3 grains. Each grain, in addition to these listed, has a different types of gluten (gluten is actually a family of protein found in grains – Osborne, Origins Healthcare 2016) and very few of these glutens have been studied. We don’t have ANY research showing that traditional “gluten free” grain based substitutes are safe to eat for people who are gluten sensitive.

The second myth is that gluten free foods are safe to eat and contain zero gluten. These foods aren’t truly gluten free. Not only do they contain forms of gluten from other grains, the FDA labeling law allows up to 20 parts per million (20 ppm) of gluten and still be able to ‘label’ a product as gluten free.  This can be enough gluten to make many people sick over and over. Many of these products contain GMO’s (genetically modified organisms). The healthiest way, and the only way to truly eat gluten free, is to eat whole and real foods and leave the grains behind. All GRAINS contain gluten. Examples of grains that contain gluten but are not limited to these grains are corn, rice, sorghum, and millet.

The third myth is that quinoa is safe for people who have to eat gluten free. Quinoa is not safe for people who eat gluten free.  There are a couple of reasons for this: First of all, cross contamination is a big problem. Most companies that manufacture quinoa also process grain-based foods which contain gluten. They don’t clean the equipment so there is always a chance that the quinoa is cross contaminated with any grains that process on the same equipment. YOU can get sick from this. Secondly, research is showing that the gut reacts to quinoa as it would react to gluten in anyone that is intolerant. This will prevent you from getting healthy if you continue to eat this product.

Here are a couple of tips to get started living a gluten free lifestyle.

Don’t go down the gluten free processed isle to replace all the gluten products that you are taking out. The gluten free processed foods aren’t gluten free. You’re replacing unhealthy food with unhealthy food. Remember all these processed foods are made from grains that contain other forms of proteins in the gluten family that are shown to cause harm to our gut. You’re not getting real nutrients that your body needs to heal and run on. These products are more expensive to buy as well.  There are grain free hacks that you can use to cook anything including delicious cookies.
Eat whole, real fruits, vegetables, grass fed meats, pastured eggs, and chicken. These products are naturally gluten free. Buy organic if possible so that your fruits and vegetables have no toxins, chemicals or gmo’s.

Your body needs a break from all forms of gluten, and it needs real nutrients to repair and have you be healthy. I will be covering more of these myths in the next articles that I will be sharing with you.

Connie
Gluten and Food Allergy Specialist

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