The Gluten Free Diet

Gluten free and the cereal grains

The Hamilton Spectator published an article on Wednesday June 27, 2010 page G10, about the gluten free diet going mainstream. A statement by Shelly Case in that article is a little misleading. Shelly Case is a registered dietician who sits on the professional advisory board of the Canadian Celiac Association the article mentions. Her quote is:

“If you don’t have celiac or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, there’s really no benefit to cutting out whole grains.”
Shelly Case

We would disagree with that statement. It is clear that this statement is coming from someone trained in the medical model only. Things are much more complex than that. Lets update our knowledge a bit on the optimally healthy body and food.

Argument #1
We would say that cereals grains are not good because they are acid forming foods. When we get sick we generally become more acidic due to the sickness. The types of foods that we should be eating at that time would be the more alkaline forming ones like fruits and vegetables. Likewise meats and most nuts are acid forming. So when we are sick, eliminating whole grains IS beneficial.

Argument #2
When we are in pain we also want our bodies to become more alkaline, and we want to switch to more Omega 3 type foods as well. The cereal grains are more of the Omega 6 variety and thus, NOT good for us when we are in pain. When we are in pain, eliminating whole grains IS beneficial.

Argument #3
Cereals grains, whole or not, are newer foods in the human food chain. It is very doubtful that we have acquired the genetic machinery to deal effectively with these foods in the last 10,000 years that these grains have been available to us. If we want a highly efficient metabolic system then eliminating cereals grains IS beneficial.

Argument #4
Cereal grains are pervasive in our food chain and represent a very high portion of the Calories we consume. Cutting them out reduces Calories considerably. When we recall that the LESS we eat (as long as we stay properly nourished), then the longer we will live, then it makes doubly good sense to cut out the cereal grains on that point alone. We can get the fibre and B vitamins from other sources. From the anti aging point of view, eliminating cereal grains would be beneficial. In all reality though, that does not happen because of the pervasiveness of wheat based foods. If we want to loose weight, or live a long time, then eliminating cereals grains IS beneficial.

Argument #5
Our immune system can do without the hit that the sugars added to wheat based foods delivers to our bodies. Just think of donuts, wheat fried in oil, often with sugar both inside and outside, and it becomes more clear. Sure it tastes good. But, is it healthy? It is not known how our body systems react when these unproven foods enter our blood stream either partially digested or completely undigested. Is there a subtle plugging of our tiny capillaries by these cereals grains? How about from our immune system’s attack on these foods? When we get the flue and our digestive system lets in more undigested food-stuff, does that cereal grain food-stuff attack more organs than just the small intestines? If we want to age slower and degenerate slower then eliminating cereals grains IS beneficial.

In Summary
From the point of view of just living better it makes sense to try a gluten free diet for a period of time. AND, we recommend that those people who would like to experiment with this type of a diet should follow all lessons in the Pain Relief Diet because it is such a healthy diet that it may catch things that a simple gluten free diet misses. If we are looking for Optimal Health Fitness, a type of fitness that goes beyond physical fitness, then eliminating certain entire food families is reasonable. There is a way to test it in your self, and over a period of time, come to some conclusions whether or not these food ideas are best for you.