Well, here they go again. Conventional medicine is attacking yet another nutritional tenet on which they obviously have zero education—this time, by dismissing the very real benefits of a gluten-free diet.
Of course, they have no issue with patients who might have celiac disease or a “true wheat allergy” following gluten-free diets. No, their issue lies with the many patients who have eliminated gluten simply because of “presumed” intolerance and sensitivity—either to deal with gut issues like pain, bloating, or heartburn, or to address other complaints like joint pain and skin problems.
Do I even need to point out how absurd this is? I can’t even begin to tell you how many patients of mine—not to mention myself included—have benefitted from a gluten-free, or even just a very low-gluten, diet. So as far as I’m concerned, this entire “controversy” should be case closed.
But let’s look at what the “experts” had to say, anyway. Because you should hear some of this nonsense…
This isn’t just “placebo effect”
According to the author of this latest bit of commentary, studies indicate that any improvements resulting from a gluten-free diet are likely due to a placebo effect.
Honestly, how does one even respond to this? Try telling your gut it’s just a “placebo effect” when you’re writhing in pain after eating a favorite gluten-rich food for the first time in a while.
And sadly, the conclusions only get more outlandish from there. Like this one (and I quote): “It may lead to nutritional inadequacies because to avoid gluten, an individual must ingest foods that contain a greater density of simple carbohydrates and saturated fats.”
What are they talking about? I put people on gluten-free diets all the time. And it drastically reduces their consumption of ultra-processed food, while boosting their intake of whole foods. (Which is always a good thing—especially now, as some of us may be indulging more frequently during lockdown.)
So any suggestion that gluten-free diets are higher in simple carbs is pure hogwash. (And don’t even get me started on their need to get in another dig at saturated fats while they’re at it.)
On the other hand, the one thing they suggested that I do agree with (and which I’ve written about before) is that the entire phenomenon could stem from a reactivity to the modern wheat crop as a whole—not just gluten specifically.
The fact is, there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that genetically modified wheat might be the smoking gun behind both celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivities. Today’s strains are a whole lot different now than they were before scientists tinkered with the plant to maximize yield and hardiness.
And of course, these crops became a staple of the human diet, even without any safety testing, on either humans or animals. (Another case in which the public has been used as guinea pigs in the name of profit.)
A real problem with a simple fix
In the end, it looks like conventional medicine’s beef comes down to the fact that grocery store shelves are now brimming over with “gluten-free” products, and restaurants are offering more “gluten-free” options.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I’ll be the first to admit that “gluten-free” doesn’t always mean healthy. The fact is, there are plenty of ultra-processed junk foods masquerading behind this label.
But this has nothing to do with the merits of giving up gluten… and everything to do with Big Food’s tireless efforts to capitalize on health trends.
These products are a far cry from an avocado or a handful of nuts, which are both gluten-free by nature—and are precisely the types of foods that I emphasize with my patients.
And the results they experience speak for themselves.
Simply put, your diet has a direct effect on your immune system. And our nation’s dietary choices have directly correlated with increases in allergies and other autoimmune issues.
Gluten sensitivity is among these issues. The exact reason why is anyone’s guess, at the moment. But whether it’s the result of changing microbiomes, or environmental exposures, the solution remains the same.
Stop eating gluten. And see what happens… I guarantee you won’t be sorry.
P.S. I break down the basics of gluten in the April 2012 issue of my monthly newsletter Logical Health Alternatives (“Your ultimate guide to the ‘gluten-free’ craze”). Subscribers have access to this and all of my past content in the archives. So if you haven’t already, as always, consider signing up today. Click here now!
“Gluten, Revisited: The Latest Facts on a Popular Culprit.” Medscape Medical News, 02/26/2020. (medscape.com/viewarticle/925512)