Gluten has been getting a bad rap for some time now. What is Gluten? It is basically two proteins (gliadin and glutenin) present in wheat and other cereal grains, such as barley and rye. Gluten gives dough its sticky elastic texture.
So what’s the problem? Well, if you have an abnormal immune response to the breakdown of these two proteins you can suffer from Celiac disease. But if you don’t, should you be going for Gluten free alternatives? Through extensive research on the subject, my conclusion is that Gluten itself is not the issue but rather comes from two distinctly different sources.
ONE: the modern, Western-style diet contains a much larger proportion of processed foods, which are notorious for the amount of gluten they contain. Gluten is now used in salad dressings, soy sauce, soups, beer, pasta, biscuits, crackers, condiments etc. the list goes on. So, rather than consuming 1 unit of gluten a day, or every few days, we are downing 10x that amount or more – and doing it daily. Essentially, our digestive systems are being overloaded with a substance that only occurs in small amounts in nature- and should thus be consumed accordingly.
TWO: Roundup (Glyphosate) in Australia, and many countries around the world, is registered for use as a harvest aid and for weed control in wheat crops. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Toxicology examined the link of glyphosate to autoimmune disease. It showed a steady increase in Celiac disease with the increased use of glyphosate being sprayed on crops. It is believed that the toxic overload from substances such as glyphosates may be responsible disrupting how our beneficial intestinal bacteria function and thus cause the digestive symptoms that many individuals experience.
So what do I do? Well I’ll tell you what I do. I eat 90% unprocessed foods. I enjoy organic wholemeal pasta from time to time. I’ll leave it up to you to decide.