Fad. A noun. Defined as an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short lived and without basis in the object’s qualities; a craze. The health field is known for fads. Think of Suzanne Sommers and the Thighmaster. Think of the Atkins diet craze. The list goes on and on. One trend that I believe is here to stay is the push for better quality food, specifically in regards to staying away from the ugly, now popular g-word: Gluten.
Let me start off by stating that your mother was right. You really are what you eat. 80% of your body composition is based upon what you put into your mouth. The other 20% is based on exercise. Gluten is a combination of two groups of proteins present in cereal grains, especially wheat, that is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. Some people are extremely sensitive to it, leading to gastrointestinal upset and suffering from even the slightest bit of gluten in their diet. On the other hand, and while we may not realize it, I’d argue to say that most of us have some sort of intolerance to gluten. We don’t realize it because we eat it so frequently there is no way to delineate gluten as the source of our suffering. Gluten-laden diets can be at the heart of a number of common American ailments from rashes, behavioral problems, IBS or other digestive issues, and so many others. The way to find out if you are sensitive to gluten and would benefit from a gluten-free diet without spending excessive money on sensitivity testing, is to simply give up gluten for a period of time (start with 21 days to give your body time to detox and respond) and see how you do. If you’re like many people I know who have gone gluten-free, you’ll find yourself with more energy, less aches and pain and feeling better overall. I’d also recommend you doing your own research and learn for yourself. One book I urge you to read is “Grain Brain” by David Perlmutter, MD. The information laid out in that book will change the way you look at food and eat for the rest of your life.
In our area, we have an abundance of healthy foods. Every time we sit down for a meal, we are making a choice for our future health and well-being. Do your part to learn what you need to be eating (more veggies, protein and healthy fats) and then watch your health skyrocket. Humans are designed to be healthy. Now is the time to make sure you are eating right and ensuring a long, healthy life.