Gluten-free options for gluten sensitivity and gluten intolerance have become increasingly available within the past few years. This increase in gluten-free options has also created the notion that, ideally, we’re all better off avoiding gluten. The reality isn’t so simple though.
Most of the gluten-free products on the market are processed. Breads, wraps, chips, crackers, and many kinds of junk food are available in a gluten-free option. If we avoid processed foods, the gluten that we do consume will be in a whole form, in healthier foods like kamut and barley.
So before you self-diagnose as having a gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance, try cutting out processed foods first, opting for foods like wheat berries rather than whole-wheat bread. In addition to eating gluten as part of a whole food, you also may want to try focusing on the ancient wheat varieties like spelt and kamut. For those that are questioning gluten sensitivity, this may be a sensitivity to modern strains of wheat. Switching to whole, unprocessed forms of ancient wheat may be a good first step in figuring out where the sensitivity lies.
Watch the first of a three-part video series on gluten by Dr. Michael Greger:
As you transition to a plant-based diet, you may be asked “tough” questions by your friends and family about your new way of eating. The good news is that after the transition, these questions often begin to disappear. Plus, with all of the information on the benefits of plant-based eating penetrating deeper into the mainstream, these types of questions seem to be diminishing.