WARNING! CONTAINS GLUTEN!
I consider myself Gluten Intolerant. If I ever ate anything wheaty I would get a terrible stomachache & my stomach would feel twice the size. Followed by a rubbishy bloaty sensation as well as feeling lethargic. September 2015 I decided to stop eating Gluten. Within a few days I started to feel better. Those nasty gut feeling went away. However it is hard living a Gluten-Free life – especially when you’re already Vegan. Nonetheless I stuck to it & it became easy. Plus I got to try plenty of new things! However after a couple of months of this way of life I decided it would be okay to have one Gluten containing meal a month. At first it was just to see if it would still hurt, another reason was because sometime I just wanted a really good pizza. This had all been fine. Yes – my stomach would not feel great for the next few days. In fact because I had cut back so much on Gluten containing items I was certain the pain was worse. But while I would be tucking into my whole day of gluten it would be worth it. Especially when it came to that pizza. Yum. Until Wednesday 22nd April 2015. I was having my Gluten day of the month. I had an amazing pizza. It would have been one of the greatest Gluten days since I cut that devil out. Until that night, the following day & the day after that. My stomach hated me. I felt like I was hungover constantly. My stomach made the loudest roars. It was like a little alien lion was wriggling inside me. I couldn’t eat anything without feeling slightly sicky. It wasn’t great. This time – was it really worth it…?
Let’s think about this logically. Let’s learn some stuff first… What even is Gluten? It is a protein that wheat contains which creates elasticity to dough – helping it to rise & keep shape. It is made up of glisten & glutenin these are joined with starch in various grains. Gliadin makes bread rise. That’s a start to the lesson… Now why do some people stay clear of Gluten. It’s usually because of Celiac Disease. When these individuals eat Gluten containing food products their immune system responds by damaging the small intestines. The protrusions lining the small intestine – known as villi is destroyed. The villi usually absorbs nutrients from food. Without this the person becomes malnourished & ill. A few studies from National Digestive Diseases Clearinghouse show more than two million people in the US are affected by a degree of Celiac Disease. That is quite a lot of people all considering. So what can’t these guys eat – bleached flour, all-purpose flour, couscous, rye, barley, oats, bran & wheat starch. Luckily any food containing wheat must now identify it on their packaging – making a Gluten-Free lifestyle easier to maintain.
The other reason why people avoid Gluten is Gluten Intolerant. This is slightly different from Celiac Disease. Not quite as serious. It is not an immune mediated response. The symptoms occur after eating wheaty treats – abdominal cramping, bloating, flatulence & diarrhea (Oh so this sounds familiar!)
Interestingly within the last year these disease – Gluten Intolerance especially has started somewhat of a fad. This Gluten-Free lifestyle has become a craze for people that don’t need stay away from wheaty treats. People believe cutting out Gluten will help them eat healthier or lose weight. This isn’t necessarily correct. You need an all over healthy lifestyle & diet – cutting something out isn’t the simple answer. Unless you eat a pizza everyday… Then cutting out Gluten will probably help – but that’s mainly because a pizza a day isn’t good for you. However much I wish that was okay.
So should more people go Gluten-Free? It makes sense leading this lifestyle when you suffer from Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance. However if you can eat wheaty treats is there any health benefits to cutting it out? The answer is no. Nonetheless the majority of people say they feel better after a few days of experiencing a Gluten-Free lifestyle. Be Warned! A Gluten-Free alternative – such as Gluten-Free Bread or Pasta – is not always healthier or lower in fat or calories. Keeping to a healthy diet & exercising while maintaining a Gluten-Free balance will not harm you & chances are it might make you feel a little better.
My suggestion – people should probably cut back on gluten-containing food, especially the unhealthy carby kind. I’m not saying cut it out all together. Look at me – it’s not that I can’t. I don’t want to. Try swapping the unhealthy gluten items for potato, rice and quinoa – just now & again. As for me? I’m still not sure? Maybe this Mays wheat day will push me over the edge & help me decide. In the meantime I know I can be Gluten-Free for 353 days of the year. The other 12 are still in the balance. All I know is a good pizza is the devils food & as always Hell is pretty tempting.