My son is allergic to wheat and gluten. He does not have Celiac disease. He is not gluten-intolerant, nor is he following a fad diet. He has a true gluten allergy.
There is so much talk about gluten lately. Is it really as bad for you as people say? How harmful is it, really? If wheat is made in nature, how can it really be that bad for you? Why does it seem like everyone is avoiding gluten lately? And what is the difference between a gluten intolerance, a gluten allergy and Celiac disease?
In case you are unfamiliar, gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley, and sometimes other grains that may have had cross-contamination with items containing gluten. It is essentially the “glue” that holds the wheat together.
So I already mentioned that one of my sons is allergic to wheat and gluten. What about the rest of us in the family? Well, after adopting a mostly gluten-free lifestyle myself I have noticed one thing with clear certainty. When I do not eat a diet with gluten, I am not nearly as hungry. However, when we go out with friends and I end up eating a meal that contains wheat I am always hungry soon afterwards. Or I wake up absolutely starving the next morning. Even if we ate a five course meal the night before. There is just something about the wheat and the way my body metabolizes it that leaves me feeling hungrier much sooner. So even though I do not have Celiac disease, an allergy, or an intolerance, I mostly stay away from gluten now simply because I feel better without it.
Recently I received a copy of the new book Gluten Freedom by Dr. Alessio Fasano, a world-renowned gluten-related disorders expert and the founder of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Celiac Research. Gluten Freedom discusses important nutritional implications for behavior-related diagnoses such as autism and conditions such as depression, anxiety, and “foggy mind.” The book also speaks to the differences between celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergy. It talks about navigating a gluten-free lifestyle during various stages of life, including childhood, the teen years, college, pregnancy, and more. The book gives some best practices and ideas for setting up your kitchen, and eating out while avoiding gluten. It even has some of Dr. Fasano’s favorite gluten-free recipes.
The book is a very thorough, detailed and comprehensive look at living a gluten-free lifestyle and the reasons why someone would do so. And for you book junkies, it has 5 starts on Amazon and 4.62 stars on GoodReads!
By the way, for more gluten-free recipe ideas you can follow this Pinterest board too. Living gluten-free for many years, we have found great gluten-free products in all categories. It is not that difficult to maintain a gluten-free lifestyle, though I understand that for some this may seem like a big change. Once you get started though, it truly does not seem like much of a sacrifice at all. Many people are primarliy concerned about replacing bread, pasta, cookies and baked goods, but there are some excellent choices out there. Here is a list of some of our favorite gluten-free brands:
Want to learn more about Gluten Freedom? You can purchase Gluten Freedom: The Nation’s Leading Expert Offers the Essential Guide to a Healthy, Gluten-Free Lifestyle at Amazon.com.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of Gluten Freedom to review as well as one to giveaway, but I was under no obligation to write about the book. All opinions in this post are 100% my own. There may be an affiliate link in this post.