Why would you go “Gluten Free”?

nutrition Aug 10, 2021

Talk to anyone vaguely health conscious these days, and I guarantee you they’ll talk you into the idea of going “gluten free”.

So what is Gluten and why would anyone go gluten free?

Gluten is a “sticky” protein found in wheat and other grains (rye and barley). It’s considered sticky because it holds together the nutrient stores of the plant. Giving food it’s elasticity, strength and ability to hold products together. This is why it’s stickiness is used as a filler in most processed foods such as soups, sauces, and ready meals. So it’s important to check the labelling.

The wheat we eat today is heavily refined and devoid of its nutrients. Because of this, it is completely unrecognisable to what our parents ate, let alone our ancestors. Modern diets have become increasingly high in refined wheat products, which has led to the consumption of significant amounts of gluten. Due to everyone’s unique chemical body make up, some individuals can be more sensitive to gluten than others. So for these people, over consumption may lead to digestive symptoms such as bloating, pain and stomach cramps. Or even headaches and fatigue. Gluten intolerance is different from an allergy to gluten; a condition called coeliac disease.

Going gluten free, definitely doesn’t mean you have to compromise on taste. There are plenty of alternatives nowadays, and I’m not talking of the chemical laden “Gluten free” products which are often worse.

Stick with whole real foods, shop the outside aisles of your supermarket where the fresh produce is, and try these alternatives (you may have to find the latter in your health food store):

  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Millet
  • Buckwheat
  • Amaranth
  • Wild Rice
  • Rice Cakes/Corn thins
  • Soba noodles ( if made with no wheat- check label)
  • Brown rice pasta
  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseeds/ Linseeds
  • Gluten-free oats (Oats naturally don’t contain gluten, however can get cross contaminated)
  • Kelp noodles
  • Mung Bean/Black Bean pasta
  • Sweet potato vermicelli

So what should you do?

Your body is so intelligent, it gives you all the messages you require. Next time you tuck into a bowl of pasta, or cereal. Check in with yourself and notice how your body’s feeling afterwards. If you’re feeling anything less than fuelled with energy. You might want to try swapping the alternatives and focussing on whole living food.

What have you got to lose?!