Are You Following the Gluten-Free Trend?

It’s that “squeaky wheel” thing. When those who have made a connection between particular dietary practices and health speak up with questions about what’s for dinner at a meeting or gathering. The many voices become a cacophony. Organizers cringe. As was true for Andrea Mitchell, in her planning of The International Food Blogger Conference last year where food trends were a hot topic. Gluten-free was on the nomination ballot. On the one hand, I’m disappointed that gluten-free was dubbed trendy with the nuance of flash-in-the-pan presence. On the other hand, I’m glad it’s getting press since it turns out, there really weren’t that many. Out of 300 participants, 17 requested gluten-free meals.

More people are gluten sensitive than is apparent by these numbers. According to Entero Labs, an intestinal health laboratory, 30-35% of Americans have gluten sensitivity or Celiac genes even if there are no current medical indications. That’s a bunch of people not knowing the risk they are taking with food choices. The long-term health consequences are serious. Spending our precious energy generating autoimmune dysfunction, the eventual result of consuming gluten by those who carry the genes in question, seems like a real waste of our personal resources. Literally! Like anything else, we start breaking down faster if we don’t take proper care of the equipment.

I once borrowed the car of a dear friend and with gratitude and appreciation in my heart I went to fill it up before returning it to her. Going through the familiar routine at the gas pump, I caught myself a little late recalling her car required diesel fuel. Big Oops! How embarrassed I was to call her. Yes, it was only about a half-gallon of the “wrong” thing, but still, it cost a lot of time, money and worry to correct the problem to everyone’s satisfaction.

You may be putting the wrong kind of fuel in your tank. Anybody with auto-immune disease, depression, digestive difficulties, any of the inflammatory diseases and the list goes on, would be well advised to explore the possibility that gluten sensitivity may be a contributing factor. The body’s reaction to unwelcome gluten visitors is kind of like having a swarm of termites in your log cabin. So much of the damage is done when we’re not aware of what’s happening inside our human walls. By the time there is evidence of invasion repair is costly if at all possible. Prevention is by far the least complicated route.

So, keep those phones ringing, emails soaring and tweets singing to find out what’s for dinner and whether or not it’s in your best interest to eat it. Get curious about whether gluten may be an unrecognized factor in your life. If those statistics on gluten-sensitive Americans matched up with real people we could go from trend to movement to effervescent health.

Posted in Uncategorized on 03/06/2011 12:02 pm

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