I love sources that talk in depth about the challenges presented by the consumption of gluten. The science is detailed and the arguments are sound. Writers present the impact on most bodies of wheat: diabetes, obesity, acne, joint pain, anger, irritability, depression. Some people within the GAPS community who had experienced auditory hallucinations for decades saw these eliminated within two days of quitting gluten!
And yet, here I am begging you not to go “wheat free”.
For two reasons:
1. Eliminating gluten from our diet addresses only one small part of the health equation. Gluten is indeed a problem, but it is only one potential toxin among many. When we remove just one toxin, and experience the (often excellent) results of that, we may tell ourselves that our health is now “good enough”. In fact, we can achieve far more astounding health if we are willing to take things just a few steps further!
2. When we merely eliminate gluten from our diet, we tell ourselves that commercial “alternatives” are fine, and turn to rice crackers, tapioca-based cookies, and copious amounts of almond flour with which to bake bread replacements. (Wait, almond flour? But almond flour is fine, isn’t it? In small amounts, absolutely! In the amounts some of us are tempted to use in early gut healing, not so much.) Additionally, when the absence of gluten triggers withdrawal symptoms such as irritability or “hunger” pangs, we often aim to address these by filling up on rice cakes, corn chips, or other sources of sugars, which only perpetuate the underlying issue of gut dysbiosis.
So long as we commit merely to “wheat free” or “gluten free”, we restrict the depth of healing that can occur. In order to achieve full health, we need not only reduce irritation to the gut lining, but actively heal it. In order to actively heal the gut lining, we need to focus on adding specific, nutrient-dense foods to our diet. Consuming broth, quality animal protein, and fats -preferably at least every couple of hours in early healing- offers the following benefits:
- eliminates cravings,
- balances blood sugar,
- boosts energy,
- provides nutrients to the brain, joints, and other parts of the body, and
- actively heals the gut lining such that it can make even better use of all nutrients coming in
So, eliminate wheat and other sources of gluten from your diet? Absolutely! This is a critically important aspect to healing. Please just don’t limit your program to “wheat free”. In your effort to achieve optimal health, gently take a series of steps -such as those offered in GAPS Guide 2nd Edition- to ultimately overhaul your diet to one dense and abundant in nutrients, sourced from a wide variety of whole foods prepared with care.
I wish you the very best health!by