Because the “gluten-free” diet was so popular several years ago, there is are some misconceptions floating through the health/nutrition world.
Even after these years of having this important information, there are still many people out there uninformed and confused. Hopefully, we clear some of that confusion up today.
What Exactly is Gluten?
Gluten is a mixture of two proteins that is naturally present in most cereal grains. This structural protein is responsible for giving breads and doughs their elasticity and texture.
Several years ago, there was a gluten free diet fad going around that suggested gluten was the culprit for weight gain or an unhealthy diet.
Whether this was the genuine thought process for most, or rather gluten’s association with carbs (pastas, breads, doughs,) that made it undesirable, gluten was named the enemy.
Related: What is Leaky Gut? Is It Dangerous? How Do I Heal?
But we have since discovered that gluten is actually not a trigger for everyone.
The biggest concern with gluten is its impact on gut health. Gluten cannot be digested by some. This presents a major threat of leaky gut, which you can learn more about here.
In fact, gluten is one of the primary causes of leaky gut.
But moving on, gluten in and of itself is not an unhealthy substance as are vegetable oils or artificial sweeteners.
It is only unhealthy for those who cannot digest it properly.
Should You Avoid Gluten?
Perhaps the most important to remember after determining your intolerance to gluten is the fact that gluten can remain in your system or impact your system for up to three months.
There is no eating gluten every now and then. To detox your body from gluten and to stop gluten’s negative impacts on your health, you must completely avoid it for good.
This is particularly important for anyone with an autoimmune condition. Gluten escapes the gut, which triggers your immune system (eventually overstimulating it). This leads to your immune system attacking your own body’s healthy organs, which can result in a number of conditions.
Again, gluten’s effects on the body can last for up to 3 months. So, if you are removing gluten to help cope with health conditions, you must avoid it at all costs.
How to Determine if You Are Gluten Intolerant
Although blood tests can be a helpful guide, I truly believe removing 100% gluten from your diet for a period of time (at least 3 months) is the best way to determine if you are intolerant to it.
While 3 months is quite the commitment, it is worth it to completely change your gut health and immunity. If after this period of time you detect no benefits, then you can rest assured that your body has the capacity to properly digest gluten.