Posted on october
Written by WildernessAthlete on November 14, 2012
Over the past few years gluten free foods and diets have become very high-profile and very widespread. While only about 1% of the population suffers from the serious auto-immune disease that is triggered by gluten, called celiac disease (gluten intolerance), it’s estimated that about 10% or more of the population may be gluten sensitive. Add to that all the anecdotal information about weight gain and belly fat associated with gluten intake and there’s a pretty compelling reason to assess the wisdom of including gluten in our daily diets.
What exactly is gluten? It is the primary protein found in rye, barley, and wheat as well as wheat-relatives triticale, spelt, and kamut. It is not found in other grains such as buckwheat, corn, millet, rice, and quinoa. Isolated gluten is further found extensively as a stabilizer and thickening agent in a broad variety of foods, and as a supplemental source of protein that is added to foods that are otherwise low in protein content.
Most individuals have no problem consuming gluten although digestion of this gluey protein even for them can be difficult and incomplete. On the other hand, patients with celiac disease, (and the related auto-immune disease dermatitis herpetiformis), must scrupulously avoid gluten in their diets. Consumption of the offending protein by these patients causes an inflammatory destruction of the lining of the small intestine, impairing absorption of essential food nutrients and causing chronic malnutrition. This can affect everything from energy levels and bone integrity to muscle-wasting and susceptibility to various gastrointestinal cancers.
Gluten sensitivity is far more prevalent in the population than is gluten intolerance. While much less severe than gluten intolerance and even grain allergies, gluten sensitivity sufferers exhibit many of the same characteristic symptoms. Among the reported adverse effects for this group are mental fuzziness or confusion, lethargy, abdominal discomfort and bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and headaches. Recent clinical observations further suggest that gluten may be a culprit in the growing ranks of our overweight population. The scientific rationale for this theory appears well-founded and future studies will likely find some links between gluten consumption and the prevalence of obesity and belly fat deposition.
Wilderness Athlete has opted to create its product line as one that is gluten free. Not only does this make these products accessible to those with known gluten sensitivities but also to anyone who sees the potential merits of following a gluten-free diet. According to Dr. Vikki Peterson, coauthor of the bookThe Gluten Effect,“… 95% of those suffering with celiac disease (are) never diagnosed but the percentage of those with gluten sensitivity who continue to suffer undiagnosed is about 99.8%. This must change as too many people are suffering needlessly.” Whether choosing “gluten-free” for medical reasons or simply to pursue a better level of health, you can be confident that WA provides the highest-quality products possible in this category.
Comments will be approved before showing up.