Gluten Free OR Not Gluten Free?

By Eric Martinez

April. 20. 2011

For some reason it seems like “gluten-free” diets are becoming more popular these days. Gluten-free diets are supposedly meant to help with increased energy, thinner thighs, and reduced belly bloat. It’s kind of hard for me to buy into that because everything I pretty much eat and preach has gluten in it, but maybe gluten-free foods may help others. So I guess what people might be wondering is if gluten is really bad for your body or not? For those who aren’t familiar with what gluten exactly is. Gluten is a protein found in the grains, wheat, barley, and rye. So if you are deciding to cut out gluten in your diets, be prepared to say so long to the yummy breads out there.

Gluten-free eating has a basis in science, and it does help a genuine health problem. Those who have a chronic digestive disorder called “Celiac Disease”, gluten is truly evil. Problem is, the immune reaction ends up damaging the small intestine, which causes both great gastrointestinal distress and nutritional deficiencies, says Alessio Fasano, M.D. and medical director of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac research. If untreated, these responses can then lead to intestinal cancers as well as complications such as infertility and the famous Osteoporosis.

Should you go gluten-free? There are different symptoms to knowing if your body is sensitive to gluten based foods: Chronic diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, unexplained weight loss, anemia, fatigue, and infertility.  The answer is yes if you have these symptoms or haven been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. You must cut gluten from your diet. I personally don’t recommend cutting out gluten if you don’t have to because it’s a major pain in the ass cutting out pretty much all grain foods. Besides the hassle of cutting out foods, cutting gluten can lead to many nutritional deficiencies. Gluten-free does not necessarily equal healthy. You are pretty much yanking out vitamin-enriched and whole grain foods from your diet that are beneficial. What really stands out to me is by cutting gluten, you are risking the important nutrients such as iron, B vitamins, and fiber. Your body needs all of these vitamins, I do not think you are going to be supplementing a bunch of pills to get these vitamins daily instead.

So, once again should you go gluten-free or not? It pretty much depends on how your body responds to it, like I have said many times; listen to what your body is telling you, I cannot stress that enough. If you have the above symptoms then cut the gluten, if not I don’t personally recommend doing so. If you decide to go gluten-free just because it’s the new trend then give it a try, but I can’t imagine myself ever cutting out whole grain foods. To me they are too tasty and beneficial for our health and performance when working out. I hope this article gave you a new perspective on something. Continue to work hard, eat great, and be healthy. Peace and god bless everyone.

 Live a Dynamic Lifestyle”