Since spending time with my best friend, who recently went gluten-free (GF), I've been experimenting with the diet and it seems to be making a difference; I feel lighter (mainly less bloated). I've sought out GF options on my current North West vegan trip, even though I was looking forward to indulging - but it's really been worth it and I've found a lot of tasty options (including at the Seattle VegFest).
Now that I'm paying so much attention to gluten-free foods, I've realized they're everywhere and are highly marketed, which makes me wonder how many people have the allergy/sensitivity or preference. Wikipedia states that only "between 0.5 and 1.0 percent of people in the United States are sensitive to gluten due to Coeliac disease" and The Cellulite Investigation says "1 in 33 people are gluten intolerant". But if the percentage is so low, why are there so many GF options in stores? Is it just a fad, or does it is it a sign that the general public should be avoiding gluten?
I have a lot of research to do on gluten, but tonight I discovered:
- The word "gluten" means "glue" in Latin
- "legend attributes the discovery of gluten to Buddhist monks in 7th-century China who sought meat-like ingredients for use in their vegetarian diet."
- "gluten can be a highly addictive substance, due to the opioids that are formed during the digestion of the protein"
- Gluten sensitivity is also seen as a genetically inheritable problem
Gluten has been linked to:
- various disorders such as autism, neurological disorders, and schizophrenia
Most resources seem to be unsure - everything is in debate and there aren't many strong studies. However, I believe that any product I have a doubt about is guilty until proven innocent, so for now I'm going to assume that my body will be healthier with a lot less gluten. I will make some exceptions, especially for Mighty O and Voodoo Doughnuts this week! ; )
I'll keep you posted on my journey and findings!
How does gluten effect you? Do you notice it? Have you ever tried giving it up?