"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - La Rochefoucauld

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shopping tip of the week: Gluten 101

"Gluten (from Latin gluten "glue") is a protein composite that appears in foods processed from wheat and related species, including barley and rye. It gives elasticity to dough, helping it to rise and to keep its shape, and often giving the final product a chewy texture.

Enough of the human population suffers from gluten sensitivity of one kind or another that many foods are now labeled to clarify whether they contain gluten."

Earlier this year, I found out I have an autoimmune disease. I have since opted to eliminate gluten from my diet, 90% of the time. This has been sooo challenging. However, since I have cut out gluten (and added supplements) I feel a million times better. I used to get really tired about 3:00 p.m. everyday and felt like I needed a nap to survive the day. Since my diet revision, I have felt a huge surplus of energy. No more mid-day slumps. Sooo you are probably wondering...do I need to cut back on gluten? This is the conclusion I have come to after talking with my panel of experts: YES! We (my family) are cutting way back on our gluten consumption, even though the rest of my family is perfectly healthy. I am not doing a gluten free diet for the kids but am more aware of what I am buying and trying to switch it up here and there. For example, instead of buying whole grain pasta every time, sometimes I will buy rice pasta or my new favorite find, black bean pasta. Sheryl a certified nutritionist, explained to me that it is important to switch things up. Too much of anything is not good.

Kelly, my personal mentor/cousin/CN/smartest person I know :) told me the wheat we consume now is not the same wheat we consumed years ago. It actually contains more gluten then it used to. Wheat can even be genetically modified. The bad news is that wheat and wheat flour are in EVERYTHING!

The best thing is to be more cognizant of how much gluten you are consuming. Try to change it up here and there. The bottom line is that excessive gluten causes inflammation.
Inflammation is the foundation for cancer and degenerative/ autoimmune diseases. 1 and 7 people suffer from a gluten sensitivity. If you do have an autoimmune disease and suffer from Chrons, Colitis, IBS, etc., look into trying a gluten free diet for a while. See if you notice a difference. Gluten free diets have been known to help depression, anxiety and other psychological disorders as well. I am so fascinated with the power of food. It can be so damaging and so healing. It really pays to do your homework!

Check out the Organic/Gluten Free Black Bean Spaghetti made by Explore Asian: Authentic Cuisine if you get a chance. It has 20 grams of protein per serving and is pretty tasty. I will give you a heads up...it is black and doesn't taste exactly like white spaghetti but I encourage you to be open minded and give it a whirl. Just like I tell my kids, it is sooo important to try new foods. We all get stuck in a rut with the same foods and start to crave only those items. It is possible to retrain your test buds to crave new foods.

Stay Healthy Moms! :)

No comments: