If you or a family member has a gluten intolerance, sensitivity or allergy, and you have chosen to cut out gluten, there is still a health issue that remains. Simply taking the gluten out of the diet and ignoring the reason that this issue exists will only lead to more food intolerances, sensitivities and allergies. (Remember, one can only be truly allergic to a protein, but other foods can trigger immune system reactions and symptoms, so they are called sensitivities or intolerances to those foods.) In fact, it will set up more imbalances that could lead to an autoimmune disorder in the long run, if ignored.
Many people who cut out gluten do what I call a “high carb switcheroo”–they switch from processed wheat or gluten products to other processed gluten-free products. They are still eating the same Standard American Diet (“SAD”, and yes, it is) –eating muffins, “breads”, bagels, pasta, crackers, pizza and other baked goods, they are just not made of a grain that contains gluten. These bakeries are not doing the body any favors! Making the high carb switcheroo from gluten containing bakeries to those that are gluten-free will not solve the problem. Gluten-free bakeries are typically made of rice flour mixes or other combinations of potato starch or tapioca starch or beans of some sort…starch starch starch! (By the way, all of the beans in bean flour products maintain their anti-nutrients and digestive system stressors because they have not been soaked, sprouted or fermented -for more on this, see my article here and my Soaking Beans and Grains Chart here). In fact, maintaining a diet which is high in processed carbohydrates may encourage other problems, such as continued and increased inflammation, gut dysbiosis and/or candida. Candida albicans and pathogenic bacteria LOVE all those carbohydrates you are eating instead of gluten. And all those gluten-free baked goods are high high high carb! Remember that carb means “carbohydrate”, and carbohydrate is just another name for SUGAR.
What to do if you desire to be more healthy? First, instead of feeding the pathogens, I encourage you to skip the “high carb switcheroo”. Resist the temptation (and the false promises) of all those gluten-free baked goods. They may be gluten-free, but they ARE NOT good for you.
Next, cut out the carbs that feed the pathogens–cut out the sugar in your diet. That means all forms of sugar: ALL sugars, ALL grains and ALL beans. What’s off limits? White sugar, cane sugar, turbinado sugar, maple sugar, coconut sugar, date sugar, ALL sugar. And all grains. Gluten containing grains like wheat, spelt, rye, and barley, and all those that do not contain gluten, such as buckwheat, oats, corn, rice and quinoa. (Yes, cut out oats! Yes, corn! Yes, quinoa!) Cut out ALL grains. And don’t forget the beans. ALL beans have got to go. Garbanzos (that sneak into baked goods), fava beans, lentils, black beans, pinto beans. Because beans are starch, and starch feeds pathogens. Don’t forget the other starches: potato starch and tapioca starch, and every other starch, will continue to feed pathogens. What’s the problem with pathogens? Pathogens can gain the upper hand, poison the intestinal tract and blood stream, damage the gut wall, and impair brain and nervous system function. Besides starving pathogens, we also cut out grains and beans because they continue to injure the gut wall that is already injured (the reason that you have the gluten intolerance or allergy in the first place.) An injured gut lining equals (draw a straight line here, folks) an increase in the number of food allergies, food sensitivities, a jacked up (highly reactive) immune system, (which may show up as a runny nose or sneezing, hives, rashes, eczema, fevers, headaches, dizziness, constipation, bloating, or many other symptoms), and eventually autoimmune disorders.
And finally, folks, I encourage you to HEAL your GUT. Heal the cause of the food sensitivity or allergy. If you heal it and seal it, and starve out the pathogenic bacteria, your “gluten-free-ness” will be over, and your food freedom will begin. (You never have to be GF or CF (casein-free) or DF (dairy-free)! Just heal your gut!)
The most important thing to do once you stop injuring the gut (by cutting out grains and beans and foods that injure) and starve the pathogens (by cutting out sugar) is to heal and seal the gut by eating Meat Stock. You can learn how to make meat stock in my book, Cooking Techniques for the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet, Part I: Meat Stock and Bone Broth, and by taking my online class: Meat Stock! The One Pot Meal that Heals™.
Read more about gut healing in the Gut and Psychology Syndrome, by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.