Why we should or should not eat gluten

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 30, 2012 6:25 PM GMT
    Part 1.
    If you don't have allergies/celiac disease, why specifically should we eat gluten-free?

    I just spent some tough hours looking for these answers pursuing the links, blogs, Google, Wikipedia, what I could find on gluten free, paleo, and why. I found places that say eat gluten free but offer little or any reason why, and other sources state there isn't much reason to go gluten free unless you have an allergy to it or celiac disease, and it is just a "trend." I've witnessed and read books on nutrition from eat for your blood type, Barry Sears' Zone diet, which were once popular and still are followed by some people. I'm not ready to buy and read another book on particular diets without knowing much more about the topic first, particularly from people who have tried it for short and long periods. I'm stuck in between all of them, including gluten-free, and they don't all mix. I'm more confused what to eat and why I should.


    Part 2
    How do you get your carbs eating no gluten, particularly without eating too much starches or foods that raise the gylcemic load?

    Do you eat rice on gluten free to get your carbs up? What also concerns me is the glycemic load of rice and yams. Zone is all into this, and says don't eat the rice, and yams are good in small amounts occasionally. Rice is a starch, right, so...eat it or don't? I eat good vegetables, broccoli and so forth, for nutrition, but they contain hardly any carbs. Most of the healthiest vegetables contain a low single digit number of carbs, including in large amounts (check it out, so surprising), unless they have a high gylcemic load and cause insulin spikes and drops, particularly starches. Zone and others say we do need carbs, and if too little or too much, it causes insulin imbalances and inflammation which lead to serious disease.


    Summary
    I know it also depends on the individual and how your diet makes you feel. That's hard to say sometimes for a lot of complicated reasons, particularly when working with medications and other health issues. Just would like a sensible and safe diet.

  • gwuinsf

    Posts: 525

    Jul 30, 2012 7:06 PM GMT
    Here's a good explanation for why grains (gluten) are bad for you.

    http://whole9life.com/2010/03/the-grain-manifesto/

    The thing with gluten is that everyone's tolerances are different. Some people have no problems with gluten at all so they're lucky. Some people have serious issues. For myself, I didn't realize the issues that I had were gluten-related until I went gluten free. I didn't even realize they were solveable issues until they were solved.

    To your Part 2 question, there are many sources of carbs besides grains - root vegetables and fruit, for starters. Also, an interesting fact is that of the three macronutrients (protein, fat and carbs), your body is able to create the carbs it needs from protein and fat. Protein and fat must be ingested, but your body can turn protein and fat into carbs.

    One of the reasons people lose weight on Paleo diet is because you train your body to use fat as its primary fuel source and not carbs. People think that they must have carbs to fuel their athletic endeavors but once your body becomes fat adaptive, your energy levels become somewhat limitless. I've done many endurance athletic events on Paleo. Here's an interesting article on training your body to become fat adaptive:
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/what-does-it-mean-to-be-fat-adapted/

    I know you didn't ask about Paleo, but regarding gluten-free, there are many sources of carbs besides processed grains.
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    Jul 31, 2012 1:15 AM GMT
    Thanks so much! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 31, 2012 1:21 AM GMT
    "PALEO SOLUTION" is the book to read regarding the chemistry of it all.
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    Jul 31, 2012 1:27 AM GMT
    My comments in GREEN.

    timct saidPart 1.
    If you don't have allergies/celiac disease, why specifically should we eat gluten-free?

    Google "Wheat Belly" and you'll have your answer.

    Part 2
    How do you get your carbs eating no gluten, particularly without eating too much starches or foods that raise the gylcemic load?

    Fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, there are other grains such as "teff" which can provide the "bread" experience without the negative aspects of wheat.

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    Jul 31, 2012 1:55 AM GMT
    I feel like these posts make me compulsive. I cannot bear the fact that poster # 2 thinks he's a nutrition expert having read the paleo book. Thanks for spreading more nutrition misinformation on the Internet. OP, when in doubt, ask a registered dietitian (which is what I will be in 1 year, and I've gone to school for 8 years).

    1) You are correct in that there isn't any reason to go gluten free unless you have an intolerance (in which case you want to reduce but don't have to eliminate) or Celiac (in which you have to eliminate) gluten. The other reason you may want to go gluten-free is to be trendy--but those of us with scientific backgrounds are not trendy because it's just foolishness. The blood type diet is also a load of crap, but that had believers for a while also because he wrote a book on it, got a following, and media promoted it. We live in capitalism, so people who know how to spin some crap and make it sound good hold more water over those who don't spin it--so if you have a marketing background and would like to promote dietitians, then please do. It's like starting a new religion--even if it's a load of crap, you will have subscribers and people who proselytize you to follow their bogus creeds. However if such a diet, even if bogus, lets you reach your goals, it is more of a behavioral change than the diet itself being magical--and this is probably why they're not illegal yet because they often do SOME good.

    2) If you google gluten containing grains and go to the wikipedia link, you will find a list of gluten-free grains (alternative grains to the traditional wheat and other gluten-containing grains). If intolerant, you probably can tolerate oats because it's just a cross-contamination issue of having gluten in the box, as oats don't have gluten. If you are Celiac, I would advise not having oats because you are much more sensitive to its presence (for Celiac disease, it actually destroys the microvilli and villi, the absorptive epithelium in the GI tract--therefore true Celiacs develop nutrition-related deficiencies due to overall malabsorption of nutrients--Trendy gluten free people do not have anything like this happen). However, there are oat products that are specifically manufactured in facilities that do not have gluten-containing grains, and you would have to find these products. Unless you have had a medical blood test specifically looking at Celiac, it is not good to self-diagnose.

    Try not to be overly concerned about glycemic load/index. If it is a food that isn't processed, such as rice and yams, then you just have to practice portion control. For me, I have a half cup of uncooked brown rice (84g) with dinner. Glycemic load is diminished in a mixed diet--so if you are eating vegetables like you should, protein like you should, fat like you should, then the insulin spikes are not as drastic as if you would eat the food itself alone. The only time you may want to consider the glycemic index is in a post-workout state when you want something with a high glycemic index and you care about fastest, maximum recovery per workout.
    Choose brown rice over white rice due to less processing and higher fiber, of course.

    ________________________________________


    @guinsf (second poster): Yes the body, specifically the liver, can convert amino acids (from protein) into glucose INEFFICIENTLY. It can also INEFFICIENTLY take the glycerol backbone of a Triglyceride and convert that into glucose INEFFICIENTLY. These are measures the body takes to prevent itself from dying by breaking down muscle for glucose in fasting states. Red blood cells require glucose because they can only do anaerobic glycolysis with no mitochondria present in their cells, the nephron of the kidney requires glucose, muscles highly prefer glucose if you are doing anything that produces lactic acid or anything intense (so as an endurance athlete, this isn't your primary energy pathway as you workout at 70% VO2max or less, which is below the lactate threshold), and the nervous system also prefers glucose over ketones, unless you want to have a "spiritual journey" associated with fasting states...

    Additionally, the human body has a redundant carbohydrate metabolism. We have amylase in our mouth, in the brush border (microvilli/villi) of your intestines, and it is secreted into the intestines by the pancreas. Amylase breaks down starch. Therefore, it is not recommended to consume most of your carbohydrates from the sources mentioned that aren't grains, because if it isn't a grain, the carbohydrate is present in the form of fructose, glucose, and sucrose (mix). The body cannot use these sugars until they are converted by the liver into glucose. Just as you would not want to consume massive amounts of fructose, you don't want to consume massive amounts of protein or fat because the body is inefficient at converting these into its primary fuel, GLUCOSE. For this reason, Grains will always be in the dietary guidelines for Americans--it is portion control of these, depending on how active you are, that will effect athletic performance and weight loss.

    The reason people lose so much weight when they cut out grains is because they lose a lot of water weight, a lot of muscle mass, and a lot of athletic performance. It is athletic suicide to cut carbs (starches) out of your diet, assuming you're in a sport that actually uses them.
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    Jul 31, 2012 2:09 AM GMT
    Should we eat a lot of gluten? No. Can we eat some foods with gluten on occasion? Absolutely. I've cut out most hard carbs/starches like bread, pasta, processed snacks, candy, etc., but having a nice hearty sub on a wheat roll once every couple of weeks won't kill you. The key is moderation and self-control. The problem with gluten is not it's existence, it's that people rely on those foods out of convenience. They're either too lazy or not interested in eating anything else.
  • gwuinsf

    Posts: 525

    Jul 31, 2012 4:26 PM GMT
    @Bluey, I never claimed to be a nutritional expert. I bow to your years of higher eduction but there's no need to reply from your pedestal. As someone without your years of eduction, I can only go by the things that I read. I appreciate the information you've given us.

    You've stated that athletes need starches or their performance will suffer, but is that specifically limited to wheat products? I'm a cyclist, I've done a number of long distance events, the AIDS/LifeCycle for one, eating gluten free. If anything I feel like my athletic performance has increased since eating this way.

    @MuchoMas, I would never categorize the effects of gluten on me as an allergy, and I would go into specifics if you really wanted me to, but it's not pleasant. Let's just say I'd have very irregular bowel movements as well as consistent acid reflux. I've noticed a very big difference in my regularity since eliminating gluten from my diet. To say that my "girlish figure" wasn't part of the initial goal would be lying. The digestive improvement was an unexpected result of me trying a gluten-free diet. I think everyone's body is different with different degrees of tolerance which is why there are such varying results. I think everyone can only judge for themselves as to what diet works for them.
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    Jul 31, 2012 5:36 PM GMT
    gwuinsf said@Bluey, I never claimed to be a nutritional expert. I bow to your years of higher eduction but there's no need to reply from your pedestal. As someone without your years of eduction, I can only go by the things that I read. I appreciate the information you've given us.

    You've stated that athletes need starches or their performance will suffer, but is that specifically limited to wheat products? I'm a cyclist, I've done a number of long distance events, the AIDS/LifeCycle for one, eating gluten free. If anything I feel like my athletic performance has increased since eating this way.

    @MuchoMas, I would never categorize the effects of gluten on me as an allergy, and I would go into specifics if you really wanted me to, but it's not pleasant. Let's just say I'd have very irregular bowel movements as well as consistent acid reflux. I've noticed a very big difference in my regularity since eliminating gluten from my diet. To say that my "girlish figure" wasn't part of the initial goal would be lying. The digestive improvement was an unexpected result of me trying a gluten-free diet. I think everyone's body is different with different degrees of tolerance which is why there are such varying results. I think everyone can only judge for themselves as to what diet works for them.


    Nope, you can eat starch from any of the non-gluten containing grains. I was just mentioning that starch is primarily found in grains rather than vegetables and fruits and that it is unrealistic to think you would get sufficient amounts from veggies and fruits alone. No doubt you could get good performance eating oats, corn, and brown rice instead of whole wheat (not sure which grain you use).

    Sorry for the pedestal sounding reply--as with all things on the Internet, it is difficult for me to relax and be cordial all the time while also expressing my emotion. I just don't pretend to be an architect, lawyer, engineer, or medical doctor, but with my profession, everyone thinks he's/she's an expert. When online, we don't come with signatures for who we are. Maybe as I get older and more mature and feel like a real adult who is done with school, the "fruit of my mind" will ripen and be less "tart" icon_razz.gif