Do you eat gluten-free products and find you are still feeling sluggish, your insides are not feeling balanced, you’re just not feeling well in general? I was diagnosed as being gluten intolerant (through a blood test) over 5 years ago and thought I had reduced a lot of processed foods, but recently was starting to feel sluggish and not quite right. I started doing some research and I’ve come to the conclusion (and please note this is just my humble opinion) that gluten-free products may not be as healthy for you as you might think.
I’ve noticed a trend recently, where more and more people seem to becoming gluten intolerant whether it be for health reasons or a lifestyle choice and more and more companies including Aldi and most recently Coles are starting to produce ‘gluten-free’ products. Yes that may be a good thing on one hand but with so many different companies jumping on the bandwagon as far as ‘gluten-free’ products, are we just swapping one lot of processed foods for another?
Food companies are selling more and more products labelled as ‘healthy’ using labels such as fat-free/low sugar and gluten-free but why are more and more people getting sick and having weight problems such as; obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, auto-immune diseases, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s etc.
I strongly believe we consume way to much processed foods, including but not limited to such things as: bread, takeaway/fast food, frozen dinners/meals from the supermarket, jars of Chicken Tonight, Kantong Stir fry sauces and also gluten-free products, whether it be for convenience or lack of cooking skills.
Recently at work, I’ve noticed a number of work colleagues eating canned/instant soup for lunch (and also because it’s still winter). On checking the ingredients of a can of Campbells potato soup that a colleague had the other day, I felt physically sick. There were so many extra preservatives and added ingredients and the salt content worked out to be over 50%!! Next time you’re in the supermarket looking for soup, check the ingredients, you might be surprised at what you are actually eating!
I believe home made soups are much healthier, easy to make and you can freeze them and take them to work for lunch and you know exactly what you are eating! I have a recipe for roast pumpkin soup here Roasted pumpkin and sweet potato soup.
My suggestion is to follow your gut instinct, if you are eating gluten-free and still not feeling well or feeling sluggish, check the ingredients. Ingredients such as rice-bran oil/oats/quinoa are often labelled as ‘gluten-free’ but may still cause issues. In my own particular case I need to avoid foods that contain even the slightest amount of those ingredients. If I do consume products with these ingredients, I have an almost similar reaction as if I had eaten something containing wheat or gluten. For example a few weeks ago I ate popcorn that was cooked in rice-bran oil and labelled gluten-free but my stomach felt very bloated and uncomfortable. If I had continued to eat this popcorn it would have developed into severe pain.
With the research I’ve been doing and listening to my body, I’ve come across what I believe, at least for me, is the most healthiest gluten-free lifestyle option. Its called the Paleo Diet/lifestyle. Some of you may not have heard of this so I will explain briefly:
The Paleo Diet/lifestyle is based on what cavemen would eat, such as meat/fish, vegetables and fruits, so no grains, dairy, sugar or processed food. It’s not complicated and doesn’t involve set eating plans, though I’m sure you could find one if you really wanted to. It is basically a lifestyle change. Ditching the foods that we are not meant to eat and consuming more healthy and fresh ingredients. A friend commented about the Paleo Diet the other day ‘You just have to think outside the square…. Its awesome food really’.
If you are looking for more reading material I recommend the following:
*Wheat Belly by William Davis
*Living Paleo for Dummies by Melissa Joulwan and Dr. Kellyann Petrucci
*The Paleo Answer 7 days to lose weight and also The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain