What’s the deal with gluten?

If you look too closely, “gluten-free” seems to be the latest fad. Unfortunately it’s not a fad, but a choice that can really benefit the health of most Americans.

Gluten is the protein in grains like wheat, rye, barley and spelt. It’s purpose in baking is to give bread it’s form and consistency. However, there are a couple of problems with it. One problem is that gluten is a very difficult protein to digest, even if you have the perfect digestive system. Now, the interesting thing that I’ve observed is that this seems to be exclusive to the gluten in the U.S. I’ve had patients who are incredibly gluten-sensitive who then go to Italy and basically live on pasta without any problems. It’s just an observation, but I do wonder what exactly we’ve done to our wheat to make it so intolerable.

Another problem with gluten is that we have put it into virtually everything! If you look at any food in a box, I’ll bet it has gluten added to it. Soy sauce even has gluten in it. Our bodies simply weren’t designed to be bombarded with the same thing over and over and over again. We were designed for variety.

Overall, I’m certainly not saying that gluten is evil. But after years of ingesting this difficult protein at almost every single meal, sometimes your body simply can’t take it any more and it may rebel against you. As an experiment, consider trying to be gluten-free for two weeks and just see how you feel. Then let me know your thoughts!