Gluten Free Fad, Fiction or New Way of Life?
What we eat and why has become as trendy as what skirt lengths are in vogue this season. One year fat is bad. Next it is carbs. For the past five years, it seems like everyone wants to blame gluten for feelings of bloating or mental fogginess, as well as bowel changes. These reactions are perceived as gluten intolerance, and it’s behind the recent rise of gluten free products.
Eating clean by avoiding processed and refined foods is a good way to improve your overall health. Additionally, people probably are eating too much gluten, but that may be because of the addition of vital wheat gluten. Vital wheat gluten is used by commercial bread manufacturers (and even most organic bread makers) to speed up the bread making process. This highly condensed form of gluten leads to an unnatural amount of gluten in the finished product, which many people’s bodies may not be able to handle.
Are FODMAPs the Real Culprit?
Not sure what a FODMAP is? Short for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, new research is hinting that FODMAPs may be causing some of the intestinal distress that many have blamed on gluten. Fructans are a kind of FODMAP, which wheat contains. But wheat isn’t the only food that contains fructan; in fact it is found in a range of other things, such as artichokes, bananas, broccoli, garlic, leek bulbs, melons, onions, white peaches and rye, according to researchers at Georgia Regents University. No large-scale studies have been done yet to see how common a problem fructans are for people, but those who are known to have problems with fructose malabsorption show similar symptoms as those with celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
And fructose consumption, particularly high-fructose corn syrup, may be another problem area in many of our diets. In the last 30 years, our consumption of high-fructose corn syrup has jumped dramatically—up 60.8 percent since it become more readily available in 1978.
Cut Gluten, Lose Weight
Of course many who are interested in removing gluten from their diet are doing so as a means of losing weight. Many years ago, before gluten-free products exploded, that idea may have contained some truth, because to give up gluten 10 or even five years ago meant simply giving up bread, muffins, cake and other bakery items. But today, all of those foods are available in a gluten-free form, so you can have all the calories of your favorite treat, just minus the gluten.
It is important to read labels, avoiding products that include vital wheat gluten. The unnatural level of gluten may be to blame for any digestive issues. Want to have your bread and eat it too? House of Bread’s products are made with natural gluten only, giving you the healthiest, and tastiest, option!