Gluten & Gliadin: Are grains for the birds?

Gluten free is hotter than Hansel right now.

In the health and weight loss realm, trends will forever come and go but wellness and vitality is here to stay. I've seen major fads over the past 8 years including low-fat, low-carb and no-carb after discovering an eating lifestyle that works best in the last couple years. The Paleolithic approach to health, in my opinion after research and personal transformations, is the most successful lifestyle nutritional program I've used in my career to date. I'm not saying you should immediately drop what you're doing and throw away all your bread, rather that I'm challenging you to see how many days you can go (hopefully 30 days for the real test to eliminate cravings and possible relapses) without certain food types you may be addicted to. If you're looking for the cleanest, most nutrient dense and satisfying diet on the planet look no further than our lineage; its in the genes!

Many food beliefs (I say belief because eating has become dogmatic lately) are so attached to the “religion” of food that they become immune to any new dietary changes. This is sadly ironic, because most of this doctrinaire is also stubbornly locked in continued frustration with body composition, digestion and energy. The time for something new is now!

When in our lives has feeling more alive ever not been sparked from change? Usually the biggest skeptics, when it comes to diet choices, are the ones who are afraid to go outside their comfort zone. We are so attached to our food it's not even funny! (really its not, because you can still buy a gallon of Coke at selected 7-11's in Texas) Face the music America- you love the rapid absorption of sugar! Cake, pies, cookies, HFCS, bagels and pretty much anything that goes crunch.

Did we as a country ever stop to think why the wonder bread label became a symbol of sustenance, or do we just continue to let the serotonin do the talking? Did the agricultural revolution really revolutionize food supply or just unknowingly add to our own health demise?

Mainstream agenda-“Grains are necessarily, just how are we gonna feed all of the…” Stop, just stop. I'm not saying that the claim to feed the world isn't noble as I want every child in Africa to eat well. The sad truth about it however, is that the argument of feeding the world is a huge joke. There are literally millions of pounds of food to go around in this world. The reality is that there's no money to be made in feeding those who are poor and cannot contribute to a bottom line. This couldn't be more clear to the UN as there is not one American governmental policy that is willing to fund for it's mass transport. Food is power and- oh sorry my bad; that's a different post for another day that always gets me steamed.

Look, when it comes to hunger and real nourishment its imperative that I point out a simple fact- In overall wellness, food quantity will never compare to it's quality! Hence the ding-dong vs. the apple with almond butter on top. Which one makes you thrive? What foods are so dense in energy that you feel satiety and comfort at the same time? Among our trends and diet roller-coasters jammed below whether or not it “cool” to order a vegan bagel or eat in restaurant known for it's soy-milk lies the truth of our own food insecurities and a lack of passion to be an individual-

“I'm in a food tribe, group or clan and I get to flex my choice every time I eat. This is my identity and these are my people.” Ugh.

I recently was talking to a colleague last week about a type 1 diabetic client who refuses to try eating animal protein because of their belief that eating meat is cruel. In the wake of excessive insulin, high fructose loads and a severely taxed liver from a protein & fat starved diet consisting of mostly beans, seeds, nuts and plants, this poor soul is literally killing themselves without even knowing it. If only they would research the positive effects of a Paleo diet and how it can reverse diabetes and autoimmune diseases there would be more hope. As it stands now, their wellness and life is literally being threatened in the name of being “compassionate.”

This is an example of religious eating, once again, and it kills me the way we all watch it go down without saying something about it. This could be your sister, brother or best friend. The real solution may or may not be 100% Paleo for you, but as of today we all need to just take a step back and pause the foodie train! This food war of who is right is quickly getting out of control. Fact- Your diet is made of food and food is fuel. We eat to survive and give our body the most optimal choices we can based on nature, it's laws and the way we feel chemically, NOT religiously.

The news about nutrition and the USDA/RD's food pyramid has come full circle thanks to Paleo guru Robb Wolf in the past few years. If you've had the foresight to ever do an 7 day-elimination diet and self check for a gluten sensitivity then you may have found what over 75% of most people already feel- Improved health and vitality when cutting gluten containing grains, HCFS, soy, legumes and processed dairy!

Although much of what has been initially diagnosed by western medicine as an Idiopathic rationale when it comes to GF diets, most who suffer from gluten sensitivity can have a barrage of symptoms. In the case of allergic responses, symptoms may appear as dermatitis but could also present as difficulty breathing during exercise. In both cases gastrointestinal symptoms may occur. In the case of idiopathic gluten sensitivity all known symptoms are confined to the nervous system.

When it comes to fat loss, gluten can be a massive roadblock. If inflammation and any autoimmune response is generated by the gluten protein gliadin, cortisol will elevate and midsection fat storage will be sure to follow. A major shift in the past decades towards a gluten free lifestyle began with the “Gluten-free” designation, drafted in 1981 by Codex Alimentarius defined by- “For the purpose of this standard, gluten is defined as those proteins, commonly found in wheat, triticale, rye, barley or oats to which some persons are intolerant.”

But what about the science? Gluten is a protein composite, including Gliadin, that appears in foods processed from wheat and related species, including barley and rye. It gives stickiness to dough, helping it to rise and to keep its shape, and often giving the final product a chewable texture.

Enough of the human population suffers from gluten sensitivity that many foods are now required by law to be labeled to clarify whether they contain gluten. A gluten-free diet is a diet completely free of ingredients derived from gluten-containing cereals: wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye, Malts and triticale, as well as the use of gluten as a food additive in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent. It is the only medically accepted treatment for Celiac disease, as well as the related condition Dermatitis Herpetiformis and wheat allergy.

The protein found in gluten is very irritating to the gut lining and may eventually cause leaky gut syndrome along with bloating, gas, malabsorption and sIgA issues. Try sticking to Paleo for 30 days and see how you feel. If you don't notice a difference, you most likely have a steel drum for a stomach and need not to worry about it- at least for now. I say this with confidence because I know you'll have never felt so good.

Need help? Contact me! For the rest of us, occasionally order up the blue corn tortillas and salsa, go for sweet potatoes and yams for starches and keep you digestion going strong.

Good luck on achieving better health- you got this!

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is that you never stop questioning.” -Albert Einstein

Gluten & Gliadin: Are grains for the birds?