If you were to ask me this question a few years ago I would have told you gluten was the anti Christ and to avoid it unless you're wearing a nuclear hazmad suit. These days it's a popular topic in fitness and mainstream media.
Gluten may be portrayed as scary but is it really bad for you?
First off, It makes for easy marketing of products...
I saw a water bottle advertising that it was gluten free… Pardon my language but when the F has water ever contained gluten?
Why? From 2012-2014 Gluten free food market surged 63%(est. 8.8 billion dollars)
Which means a lot of products are jumping on this oversized bandwagon
Is the hype real?
I want to avoid making this a long winded. Gluten is topic that can enter a never ending rabbit hole if you let it, you're here for a short precise answer which you can apply right away.
So let's ask a better question... what benefit does gluten provide?
None, there is zero health or performance advantage to eating gluten
Hey hey now, don't you dare talk about gluten like that!
Look I don't belong to a gluten hate group or anything like that BUT It is my job to pursue high levels of health and fitness. My skins better, mind clearer, digestion smoother and sleep is deeper when I avoid it. The majority of my clients report less bloating when they cut it out as well.
Although there is overwhelming research on glutens negative effects in the body, if you're not full blown celiac I would limit your exposure, keep it around on the occasion so you don't develop a harsh intolerance like I did after cutting it out for years. Otherwise you will end up breaking the land speed record on your way to the toilet after 2 sips of beer.
"Wait so you're telling me to listen to my body? Then do my best to avoid it because there are zero benefits? BUT to eat it occasionally so my body doesn't reject it?"
Yes! look, there are many factors that affect health. I think that if we lived on a tropical island with all of our loved ones, go to bed when the sun sets, wake up without alarms and have non existent stress levels, would the gluten hurt us? Probably not!
I'm not here to scare you into a certain belief with popular gluten dogma but rather teach you to listen to your body, find what works for you and just lead with caution when it comes to the ol gluten.
Remember, everything in moderation...
PS. Again... If you have autoimmune conditions, intolerances or any bad associations with gluten then save yourself the trouble and avoid it all together.
The main culprit in gluten is the gliadin derived peptides which can cause intestinal permeability. What does this mean? Simply wear and tear on your intestinal lining, this may cause leaking of food molecules and other toxins to flow freely into your blood stream. Is this bad? Yes because it sends your body into defence mode via the liver or immune system(why you feel like shit). It's challenging for your body to keep up with this stress, so inflammation is a result. What else can happen? Parts of gluten also bind to key receptor sites in the gut which usually absorb vitamins/minerals. Crucial minerals like zinc can't make there way into the body leading to deficiencies and other health issues.
It's easy to get scared after reading that, but like anything just use common sense a little gluten here and there wont kill you...
Have a healthy weekend everyone!