Should You Be Gluten Free?

Before you jump on the "no grain" bandwagon, read this. 

Posted: 04/24/2014 12:02 PM EDT

Gluten free this, gluten free that….  Many restaurants are even now serving entire gluten-free menus, but what is gluten? And more importantly, should you be going gluten-free as well?  Get the facts and make the choice yourself:

Gluten is a protein composite found in multiple grains, most notably wheat, rye, spelt, barley, triticale, kamut, and even oat. Gluten encompasses two primary families of proteins; glutenins and gladins. It makes pizza dough stretchy, gives bread its spongy texture, and is used to thicken soups and sauces.

So what happens when your body rejects gluten? 

Symptoms of gluten intolerance vary dramatically and may include excessive weight loss associated with malnutrition, diarrhea, nutrient deficiencies, and skin rashes. People of Northern European descent are more likely to experience gluten intolerance but a growing number of Hispanics, African Americans, and Asians are being affected.

Gluten intolerance typically appears during the first three years of life, after cereals are introduced into the diet. According to the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine: A second peak occurrence rate takes place during the third decade of life. Breastfeeding appears to have a preventive effect, as breast-fed babies have a decreased risk of developing celiac disease.

The early introduction of cow’s milk is also believed to be a major causative factor. Research in the past few years has clearly indicated that breast-feeding and delayed administration of cow’s milk and cereal grains are the primary preventive steps that can greatly reduce the risk of developing celiac disease.

Read more about whether a gluten-free diet is for you at BlackDoctor.Org.

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