I just posted an article on how to filter through all the conflicting advice on dietary recommendations by the experts!
The blog also addressed the issue of gluten free….
Here’s an expert:
What type of diet is best for any individual has little to do with calorie counting and perfect proportion control. Optimal choices in nutrition have more to do with individual lifestyle patterns, biochemical and genetic differences, blood type, ethnicity, current health status, and other physiological issues that will make certain foods hum in one person and honker out in another.
This is because food affects our biology, not just by causing weight gain or weight loss, but by modifying our blood sugar, hormones, neurotransmitters, and brain health. The phytochemicals present in foods have the capacity to act as medicine or poison.
Dr. Amen highlights this concept of different foods for different people by his focus on different brain types….
Now, that being said, there is one trend that makes sense to me. I’m not a big fan of generalizations, but there are some classes of foods I generally recommend to avoid or eat minimally to most of my patients. I believe the common sensitivities to these foods are more a result of overproduction and resultant processing manipulation than the actual food itself. One such food class is gluten (wheat, barley, rye, oats).
Unfortunately, the sensitivity to wheat and gluten is one which is becoming more and more prevalent. Most of my patients show at least elevated antibodies to gluten when we run a blood panel. According to Dr. Northrup, one of the reasons why so many people are so sensitive to gluten today, is because wheat bread has been manufactured to be 10x the amount of protein content than if produced in its natural state. This is in order to increase the fluff, market value, and taste of bread. Our body just isn’t set up to digest that kind of protein profile. (It’s even been suggested that in Europe, where GMOs and mass devaluing of grains is less prevalent, there is less grain sensitivity).
The continuation thoughts… just for my dedicated Saratoga.com readers:
Additional articles of interest:
Unfortunately, sprouted wheat is not a good alternative.
Dr. Mercola summarized the problems with this lectin in his article which also discussed the negative immune (autoimmunity, cytotoxicity), inflammatory, digestive, brain (excitotoxicity and neurotoxicity) , heart, and endocrine (thyroid) effects of this wheat gliadin antibody (WGA):
Interestingly enough, the highest amounts of WGA is found in whole wheat, including its sprouted form, which is touted as being the most healthful form of all… Aside from high amounts of WGA, wheat also contains a number of other potentially health-harming components, including:
Gliadin (an alcohol soluble protein component)
Gliadomorpin (exorphins, or group of opioid peptides that form during digestion of the gluten protein)
Rye and barley are also members of the WGA family; however, Dr. Mercola also provided proof that the potato and tomato may contain similar reactive lectins, specifically chitin lectins that cause similar reactions as wheat. Here’s an example of what’s best for the individual!
The Sweetness of Life…re-consider Sugar…
According to an article in Psychology Today, sugar can have similar effects on the body as gluten:
First, sugar actually suppresses activity of a key growth hormone in the brain called BDNF. This hormone promotes the health and maintenance of neurons in the brain, and it plays a vital role in memory function by triggering the growth of new connections between neurons. BDNF levels are critically low in both depression and schizophrenia, which explains why both syndromes often lead to shrinkage of key brain regions over time (yes, chronic depression actually leads to brain damage). There’s also evidence from animal models that low BDNF can trigger depression.
Second, sugar consumption triggers a cascade of chemical reactions in the body that promote chronic inflammation. Now, under certain circumstances (like when your body needs to heal a bug bite), a little inflammation can be a good thing, since it can increase immune activity and blood flow to a wound. But in the long term, inflammation is a big problem. It disrupts the normal functioning of the immune system, and wreaks havoc on the brain.
Inflammation is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and even some forms of cancer . . . it’s also linked to a greater risk of depression and schizophrenia. And again, eating refined sugar triggers inflammation. So does eating heavily processed molecular cousins like ‘high fructose corn syrup’.