Gluten Free Experiment

My mom is gluten sensitive so I knew I had at least a 50% chance of having the genes that can predispose one to gluten issues. I had experimented with going gluten free before and hadn’t found gluten to be a problem for me. Since these issues can manifest as we get older, I still was paying attention in case I developed a sensitivity later. Recently, I did notice digestive discomfort and bloating after I ate meals with lots of wheat in them.

So now I am going to be gluten free for 2 weeks. At the end of the two weeks, I am going to do a gluten challenge where I will eat a normal serving of wheat with all three meals on one day. This is a step that a lot of people skip. It helps us know how big of a deal it is for us to eat wheat or gluten. Without this step, I see people often slowing adding gluten back to their diets and not knowing whether to associate it with the symptoms they are having.

I don’t believe that everyone needs to go on a gluten free diet, but foods high in gluten are over consumed in America. This is partially due to the convenience of burger buns and wheat tortillas for making inexpensive foods for on the go. But overconsumption of wheat and other high gluten foods might be contributing to health issues in all people. Dr. Perlmutter claims that all grains in high amounts are bad for our brains. Another research found that gluten may cause some degree of leaky gut in all people. Again this doesn’t mean that everyone needs to be gluten free. I would like to see follow up research done on this new idea, and even if this theory is correct, we can rely less on wheat in our diets, but don’t have to eliminate it entirely necessarily unless it is a real problem for us.

Leaky-Gut-SI2

Gluten is a protein in wheat made up of smaller molecules called gliadin. Gluten is primarily useful for making bread since its stretchy nature allows bread to rise. When it comes to quick breads like pancakes, muffins, cornbread, and cookies, other flours can be easily substituted like the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour. Your pancakes might not hold together quite as well, but they will often be lighter and fluffier. There are of course some tricks to learn about gluten free cooking such as coconut flour cannot be substituted in a one-to-one fashion for wheat flour. You use ¼ cup coconut flour for every cup of flour and add extra eggs to the recipe. I find the best success from using a mixture of gluten free flours. For instance, if I make pancakes with the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free flour, I also add cornmeal and flaxmeal to give it a more whole grain texture.

Overall, I am not eating very many of these substitute foods. Mostly I am eating foods that have always been gluten free such as vegetables, meat, quinoa, beans, nuts, etc. But here are a few of my favorite substitute products for when I want something that would normally have wheat in it:

Udi’s Gluten Free Bagels

Rudi’s Gluten Free Multigrain Bread (But my mom disagrees. She like Canyon Bakehouse 7-Grain Bread)

PaloWraps

Against The Grain Pizza (and everything else they make)

Applegate Gluten Free Chicken Tenders (a coworker who isn’t gluten free likes these better than the regular version)

Amy’s Gluten Free Indian Aloo Mattar Wrap

Blake’s Gluten Free Chicken Pot Pie

Blue Diamond Nut Thins

WOW Baking Company Chocolate Brownies

Jennie’s Gluten Free Macaroons

And last but not least the Gluten Free Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes from A La Carte

If get accidentally glutened or want to cheat on rare occasion, try the GlutenEase enzyme from Enzymedica.

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6 responses to “Gluten Free Experiment

  1. Since wheat is inflammatory, seems we should all be avoiding it most of the time. Does ONF carry the Canyon Bakehouse 7 grain bread? I typically eat the spelt bread ONF carries in freezer section…not gluten free but spelt is an ancient grain and probably better for us than most types of wheat, what do you think Laurell?

    • As I was saying, I would like to see the work indicating it contributes to leaky gut further investigated before we make any real conclusions, but there are plenty of other reason to eat less wheat like avoiding over reliance on carbohydrates. Switching to gluten free bread isn’t necessarily an improvement on that front. But yes, ONF carries the Canyon Bakehouse. I think the ancient grains are probably a good bet, but I haven’t seen any work on them and leaky gut. Before this experiment, I was baking (on the rare occasions I did) with spelt.

  2. Laurel, thank you so much for sharing this information. Since I am having some trouble with my memory, I shall incorporate some of these gluten free products into my diet.

  3. Hi Dr. Laurell, I’d be interested to know when your mom developed “Celiac Disease”, and whether or not she eats all organic. People have been eating (some solely surviving on) wheat for thousands of years. Now our consumer minded media is force feeding us the idea that this Plant is Toxic. I call BS. I think the name gluten intolerance should be changed to [chemical] intolerance… Why is it hard for “college educated” people to realize that drenching wheat in roundup might BLATANTLY be responsible for all these brand spanking new diseases? “Common wheat harvest protocol in the United States is to drench the wheat fields with Roundup several days before the combine harvesters work through the fields as the practice allows for an earlier, easier and bigger harvest – See more at: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/real-reason-for-toxic-wheat-its-not-gluten/#sthash.YigXrjId.dpuf

    • Hello,
      I appreciate this valuable information. I have indeed come across people who only have reactions to conventionally grown wheat but not organic. I would describe them as sensitive to chemicals instead of intolerant, which suggests an enzyme deficiency. I do also think that others are truly reactive to gluten or sometimes other components of wheat. This is partially due to genetics because not all of our ancestors relied on wheat. Some anthropologists refer to the barley or oat zones of Europe where these were the dominant grains. There are many other reasons being proposed for why the rates of both food allergies and food sensitivities are increasing, such as how food is being introduced to infants, modern hybrid varieties, etc. I would be delight to discuss this will you more if you have other questions or comments.

  4. Pingback: Gluten Free Coconut Flour Pancakes for the Holidays | Dr. Laurell Matthews, ND

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