Is Gluten-Free the Way to Be?


This past week I did a presentation for a local company titled “Is Gluten-Free the Way to Be?”By the end of the presentation I wanted the audience to be able to:

  •  Know the potential health benefits of a gluten-free diet
  •  Learn which gluten-free foods to include and those to avoid
  • Could decreasing or eliminating gluten help to improve health issues and promote a healthier lifestyle?

What is Gluten? 
Gluten is the substance in grains that is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. It’s a mixture of two proteins, gliadin and glutenin.
Gluten is found in grains, especially wheat but also in barley, rye, and spelt. It gives bread a chewy texture, as well as helping it rise.

Gluten is found in most prepared foods. It is also found in personal care products like facial wash and cosmetics. It seems like gluten is everywhere.
Why Could Gluten Consumption Become a Problem?


For many individuals eating gluten can create an adverse reaction in the digestive tract. This is because when gluten reaches the digestive tract and is exposed to the cells of the immune system, they mistakenly believe this is coming from a foreign invader, like a bacteria.
Fragments of gluten provoke an immune response which causes painful inflammation in the digestive tract of gluten-sensitive individuals. There are varying degrees of gluten sensitivity.
What is Celiac Disease?

The most serious form of gluten sensitivity is called Celiac disease which is an auto-immune disorder. The immune system attacks the gluten proteins and the enzymes in the wall of the digestive tract. 
This immune reaction can cause degeneration of the intestinal wall leading to nutrient deficiencies, digestive issues, anemia, fatigue, and increased risk of many other serious illnesses.
Gluten damages the villi, which are finger-like projections of the small intestine that are responsible for absorbing nutrients. Normal villi are like a shag rug where damaged villi are like a Berber rug.
A large percentage of individuals who have celiac disease don’t even have abdominal symptoms, making diagnosis very difficult. The symptoms might come out in other forms like fatigue, anemia, skin rash, joint pain, or weight gain.
According to the Mayo Clinic about 80% of people are unaware that they have celiac disease. About 1.6 million people are on a gluten-free diet even though they haven’t been diagnosed with celiac disease.
How to Treat Celiac Disease?

A gluten-free diet is necessary for the entire life of a person with celiac disease.
Along with a gluten-free diet a person with celiac may want to adhere to a nutrient dense diet and take nutritional supplements like iron, vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin B12.
Coming into contact with even a trace amount of gluten can make a person with celiac very ill. It only takes as little as 50 ppm or 1/100 of a piece of bread to trigger a reaction in people with celiac disease. 
When going gluten-free it may be necessary to purchase new cutting boards and watch sharing food prep and cooking space in the kitchen.
Current research is working on developing a substance that celiacs would ingest that would breakdown gliadin, the protein that makes up gluten.
What is NCGS?

It is possible to have similar symptoms to celiac but not have celiac. This condition is sometimes referred to as non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).   
This is different from a true wheat allergy which could be confirmed through allergy testing.
Some of the most common symptoms of gluten sensitivity include:

  • ·Digestive issues   
  •  Fatigue/crankiness
  •  Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Mood issues 
  •  Joint swelling/pain
  • Eczema

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Gluten sensitivity is the main cause of something called “leaky gut syndrome.”
 Leaky gut is a condition where the tight junctions in the intestinal wall get broken apart and things like toxins, microbes, and undigested food particles can escape from the intestine and travel throughout the body via the bloodstream. 
First and foremost gluten should be removed from the diet. This will decrease or eliminate current digestive symptoms.
Due to leaky gut the intestinal lining has been damaged and needs repair for healing to take place. 
One protocol that I used with my clients was the 4R program which meant Remove the bad (inflammatory foods, alcohol, caffeine, drugs), Replace with good (digestive enzymes, HCL-proper digestion), Re-inoculate with healthy bacteria (probiotic) , and Repair the gut with supplements( L-glutamine which is an amino acid, zinc, fish oil, vitamins A, C, E).
Along with a gluten-free diet it could be beneficial to eliminate foods that cause inflammation in the body like dairy, corn, soy, eggs, and sugar.
Gluten sensitivity is becoming more and more prevalent in this country. According to the Univ. of Chicago Celiac Disease Center there are 3 million people with celiac disease and research suggests there are 18 million with gluten sensitivity.
Potential benefits of a gluten-free diet include:

  • More energy and better metabolism
  • Weight control
  • Disease prevention
  • Emotional stability

If you would like to decrease or eliminate the gluten in your diet then you want to make sure that you are making healthy choices.
You can visit for The Gluten-free Diet Plate dietary guidelines.

Here are the Foods to Avoid on Gluten-Free Diet:

  •   All wheat products like bread, cereal, pasta, pastries, tortillas’
  •  Other grains like rye, barley, spelt
  • Oats that are not labelled gluten-free
  • Most prepared foods
  • Condiments, dressings, gravies, sauces 
  •  Beer, vodka, and other wheat-based alcoholic beverages

So What Do you Eat When You Go Gluten-Free?
Believe it or not there are a lot of foods that are good-tasting and gluten-free such as:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables 
  • Beans 
  • Dairy 
  • Nuts and seeds  
  • Gluten free grains like brown rice, quinoa, gluten-free oats, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, corn
  • Meat, poultry, fish, eggs  
  • Gluten-free packaged foods (in moderation only-80-90% of your diet should be non-packaged foods.)

Next week I will talk about the most recent research that has revealed that there is more to the story when it comes to gluten and that maybe gluten consumption is not totally to blame for gluten sensitivity symptoms.

Tune in next week for the most up to date report on other factors that now come into play if you are experiencing chronic digestive issues.

Are you experiencing unexplainable digestive symptoms? Have you considered the culprit may be foods that you are consuming on a daily basis? Please let me know if you have any questions.
ARE YOU READY FOR A NEW APPROACH TO WEIGHT LOSS?                                                                                                                                                       Do you want more information on how you can learn how to lose weight for good by improving your emotional well-being first? This fall I will be launching my book and program: “The Happiness Effect: The Feel Good Weight Loss Program.” If you would like to receive my blog posts, videos, and info on my upcoming free webinars please just click on and get immediate access to a video that explains more about my unique approach to weight loss.

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    Reply Reply December 1, 2014

    Thank you so much for visiting my website. I did not reply to your comment till now since my website was under construction at the time. If you are interested in receiving my weekly blog, free recipes, newsletters and other freebies you can join my community at Thanks again for checking out my website.


    Reply Reply December 8, 2014

    I wrote this post. Thanks for reading my blog. My website is still being refined. I hope you will visit again soon.
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    Reply Reply December 9, 2014

    Thank you reading and commenting on my blog post. This is a new website so I am still working out the bugs so I hope you will visit again since I post a new blog each week.


    Reply Reply December 9, 2014

    Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog post. This is a new website so I am still working out the bugs so I hope you will visit again since I post a new blog and video each week.

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