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Going Gluten Free For Health Reasons, But No Underlying Gluten Issues?

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 11:23 PM

It seems to be a common thing at the moment where people are deciding to remove gluten from the diet of the entire family because it's a "healthy" way of eating, when nobody in the family has any issues whatsoever.  No sensitivities to gluten, no intolerance, nobody has coeliac disease, they see it as just a healthier lifestyle.


Can anyone shed some light on that?  I wasn't sure where to put this, but just wanted to ask in here what people thought about others seeking out an entirely gluten free diet for themselves and their families without it causing any concern and without a family history of gluten problems?

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 12:19 AM

There are a lot of reasons to try a gluten free diet, many of them have nothing to do with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity. It can be helpful with treating a variety of other health issues. The pizza crusts I prefer to buy were developed by a bakery in response to doctor pointing out that autistic children responded well to a gluten free diet. He felt that no child should go without delicious pizza, so he created an amazing crust that they could enjoy. I have an uncle with Crohn's, his wife has lupus and their son may be autistic (and whether or not he is, genetically speaking... he's screwed), gluten problem or not their family could benefit greatly from going gluten free.


Frankly, as long as people take it seriously I don't see the problem. The issue is when people treat it like a weight loss diet or some random fad. It is a diet designed specifically to address health issues. As much as I want to see the fad end, I think the attitude some people have that celiacs and gluten sensitive people own this diet needs to stop. It just creates a divide when we should be happy to welcome anyone who embraces being gluten free for their health into our community. And for the record, embraces meaning takes it seriously without cheating.

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:30 AM

Interesting question.


My brother is a health nut.  I say nut because he will eliminate anything with gluten, dairy, preservatives, gmo's, antibiotics and so on.  He exercises fanatically and takes large amounts of vitamins.  He chooses not to buy health insurance and believes he will never get seriously sick.  He is very healthy at the moment.  He has no autoimmune issues and no chronic conditions. 


That said, he will woof down a slice of pizza if placed in front, drinks beer if he wants too.  Is he a hypocrite?  Maybe, maybe not.  He makes his food choices for personal reasons, not for medical reasons.  When he eats a slice of pizza, is he cheating?  Not really because he has no medical obligation to the diet he chose. 



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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:10 AM

I think when people have noticed the drastic improvement of a Celiac following a gluten free diet they are amazed.


Gluten is a more complex protein chain for human digestion.  Removing it from the diet and consuming more fruits and vegetables (gluten free people tend to start eating more fruits and vegetables ~ cause hey it's gluten free!) seems to improve health.


There is supporting evidence that it can *help* in many auto-immune illnesses, but not adding more stress to the gut to process.  I have seen a drastic improvement for a woman with MS.  (She was having problems affording medication and seemed to have no other options.  She started the diet and avoided sugars too.  She looked 15 years younger and was not limping! 


Not only that but when stories come out that things like beaver anal secretions are used as raspberry flavoring in foods!!?  Don't you think it's about time that people start thinking about what they are eating and start making some choices about what should not be acceptable to put in their bodies.  (*this ws on a morning radio show and I just don't even want to research this.  It's just too nasty.)  The more people that want to eat gluten free the better.  Just be polite when interacting with people in restaurants and such so you don't give other gluten free people bad reputations.

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 07:56 PM

The more people claim to be gluten free, but then are inconsistent, the harder it is for people to have a true understanding of how strict a person has to be when they have coeliac disease, or a child with it.  Someone who sais they are gluten free, talks to waitstaff about the gluten free options, then order a drink that contains barley malt, will give the impression that it's ok to have a bit of gluten. 

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 06:56 AM

You might want to read "Grain Brain" by Dr. David Perlmutter for some excellent reasons not to eat grains.  Here's a link to his recent interview in Toronto where he says it better than I can:





Also check out some of the Paleo books by Robb Wolf, Loren Cordain and Nora Gedgaudas for other reasons people are encouraged to try to eat more like our ancestors.

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