The Basics: The short story – the facts.
Gluten can cause weight gain. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye and many other grains. Gluten intolerance/insensitivity causes inflammation in your small intestine. The resulting inflammation produces symptoms such as: headaches, inability to concentrate, gas, bloating, constipation, vomiting, reflux, fatigue, etc. There is no one symptom that clearly defines gluten intolerance.
A gluten-free diet alters the bacterial make-up of your intestines. A gluten-free diet will not cause you to lose weight. Why? Because many gluten-free manufactured products contain extra fat and calories. Gluten is not listed on all food labels.
A good source for this weight loss topic and many other topics that focus on the cause of weight gain and loss is “Results Matter When You Want to Lose Weight and Keep It Off”, by Red O’Laughlin, aka The Prosperity Professor. A Kindle ebook is available from Amazon (http://amzn.to/11zxr0B)
The Details: If you want to know more, the real details about Gluten, please continue reading.
Gluten might be the cause of your weight gain. Your blood sugar level affects your hunger and cravings. Low-glycemic foods and protein cause your blood sugar levels to rise slowly. Because the rise was slow, your subsequent decline in blood sugar will be slow. This slow decline in blood sugar levels abates your cravings. Protein gives you a full feeling after eating.
Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, barley, rye, and another twenty or so grains. Gluten gives elasticity to baked goods and makes them chewier. Some people have intolerance to gluten. Gluten intolerance or gluten insensitivity causes inflammation in your small intestine. There are dozens of potential gluten intolerance symptoms. However there is no one symptom that categorically defines gluten intolerance. Sufferers of gluten intolerance have intestinal issues combined with other symptoms, such as – headaches, inability to concentrate, gas, bloating, constipation, vomiting, reflux, fatigue, etc.
Some people have a slight to moderate sensitivity to gluten. The symptoms associated with the various levels of this sensitivity range from rashes to bloating. People with sensitivity to gluten have difficulty absorbing the proper nutrients. The extra energy used to process the gluten foods often leave you tired and fatigued.
Celiac disease is a rare autoimmune disease based on gluten intolerance. There is no known cure for Celiac disease. There are no effective medicines to treat this disease. People with Celiac disease can experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, anemia, fatigue and even damage to their small intestine by eating products with gluten. The only treatment for this disease is to not eat any products containing gluten for the rest of your life.
One of the main reasons celiac disease is so devastating is that the place in the small intestine where it causes the most havoc is the site where vitamin B12 is absorbed. Vitamin B12 is critical for many cellular functions, including your body’s manufacture of red blood cells, nerves, and neurotransmitters.
Sometimes celiac disease can go dormant, particularly during your teen years. If celiac disease is detected and confirmed, then goes dormant, it is extremely important to have regular tests to determine its recurrence. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has been thought to be a mild case of celiac disease or celiac disease that has gone dormant. Celiac disease causes elevated liver enzymes; however, a gluten-free diet can completely normalize your liver chemistry over time.
You have good and bad bacteria in your small and large intestines. When the good bacteria thrive, they control the bad bacteria. A gluten-free diet alters the bacterial make-up of your intestines. Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that stimulate the growth and/or activity of the bacteria in your digestive tract. They are necessary for good health. A prebiotic is not a probiotic. Probiotics are live microorganisms. Probiotics are contained in pills, dairy products and yogurt.
Wheat and barley contain prebiotics. Prebiotics have been removed from many products in North America. Prebiotics provide for increased calcium absorption, stronger and denser bones, enhanced immunity, reduced allergies, lower triglycerides, and other benefits. The most significant benefit for people interested in losing weight is that prebiotics aid in appetite suppression and weight control.
A gluten-free diet will not cause you to lose weight. Many people actually gain weight on a gluten-free diet. You have to be very conscious of your carbohydrates and fats when eating gluten-free. Gluten-free means that you are eating less processed foods. Some gluten-free foods are manufactured with fat as a replacement for gluten. Eating gluten-free foods reduces refined carbohydrates, but may not reduce total calories or fats. Gluten can be insidious because it is not listed on labels. Beer, pizza, burgers, pancakes, etc. contain gluten.
Adhering to a gluten-free diet is not easy. You must read labels like your life depended on it (it does!). Gluten comes from wheat, barley and rye. Oats were thought to contain gluten, but further studies indicate that oats were processed in the same machinery that processed gluten-containing grains. If you have a minor sensitivity to gluten, you might consider adopting a gluten-free lifestyle for at least four weeks to determine if gluten is a problem for you.
Gluten can be found in everything from prescription medicines to thickening agents. Gluten permeates the food processing industry. Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, flour, cereal, vegetable protein, modified starch, vegetable gum and some sauces could contain gluten. Your food product contains gluten if the words – stabilizer, starch, flavoring, emulsifier, hydrolyzed or plant protein – are listed on the label.
People overindulge in gluten-free products because they think they can eat more. Many gluten-free products have the same calories or more than the ones that they replaced. It is very difficult to stay on a gluten-free diet without your life at stake. In a 2006 study followed by the American Journal of Gastroenterology, 81% of 188 people with celiac disease gained weight on a gluten-free diet. Nearly 100 people in this study were overweight or obese when the two-year study started.
Alternatives are other whole grains such as quinoa, buckwheat, millet, teff, sorghum and wild rice. Quinoa was used by the Inca warriors as an energy booster. It contains all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa is low on the glycemic index. Buckwheat is rich in antioxidants and magnesium. Millet has been grown from Africa to China and was considered to be a prized crop in the Bible. Millet is actually a seed rather than a grain. It is alkaline and provides many minerals and vitamins and provides serotonin to calm you.
Teff is the smallest grain in the world. It is considered to be the grain with the most fiber-rich bran and germ than any other grain. It is also high in calcium. Sorghum is the third largest crop in the United States. It is used for both human and livestock. It is rich in iron, phosphorous and B vitamins. Wild rice is comparable to many grains for nutrition. It is rich in B vitamins, potassium and phosphorous, and contains all the essential amino acids. It is more expensive than brown or white rice due to the harvesting processes.
Red O’Laughlin aka The Prosperity Professor