Case Closed on Gluten Sensitivity…perhaps…

Lets go straight to Mother Jones for one of my favorite topics, “gluten sensitivity”… I love picking on gluten sensitivity because despite all the hype and the loads of ‘gluten-free’ foods that have been recently dumped on the shelves everywhere from your neighborhood Quick Trip to your Whole Foods Stores, the chances that you, personally, are “gluten-sensitive” are less than one in one hundred:

…nonceliac wheat sensitivity affects less than 1 percent of people…

That means that there is a REALLY good chance that you don’t have a problem with gluten. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have a problem, but it’s not probably gluten, which then means that your purchase of expensive “gluten-free” products is not going to be a solution to whatever issue you are trying to avoid. What might that issue be?

Wheat allergy, maybe? Probably not, that condition affects two tenths of a percent of people. If you are not tolerating your foods, chances are that the problem you are having is an added ingredient. It may be some of the extra gluten that bread makers put in breads so that they have better texture. It may be some other ‘tweak’ that a processed food maker adds to make his product cheaper or immune to decay on the shelf. Chances are, if you eliminate processed foods from your diet you will get whatever the culprit is out of your menu.

Try making your own bread from flour that you grind yourself from wheat. If that sounds too hard, and it would be time consuming and take quite a bit of prior planning and work, then just quit buying processed foods. Gluten-free foods join the list of “-free” foods that should be avoided because there is no substitute for real. Take a vital component out like fat or sugar and you must put in a mysterious artificial component. Take out gluten and you probably have to put in ten scientific creations to make the product anything like the original. They are finding this out these days about saturated fats. Years ago they replaced animal fats, like lard, with vegetable shortening, a science lab creation. Turns out that shortening contained Trans-Fats (partially hydrogenated vegetable oils) which lead directly to heart disease, so they are now out of the picture. Now food scientists are trying to produce products that you will not notice are different, while containing no saturated fats or partially hydrogenated fats of any kind.

Yet without a hard fat, as we’ve seen, it’s nearly impossible to make most processed food products. When Marie Callender tried using liquid soybean oil in its frozen dinners, for instance, the oil puddled under the roasted potatoes and caused the sauce to slip right off the meat, leaving it barren and dry. “It wasn’t very appealing ,” said Pat Verduin, senior vice president for product quality and development at ConAgra. Hard fats are needed for structure, texture, and longevity. For cooking and baking, a hard fat is essential.

Teicholz, Nina (2014-05-13). The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet (Kindle Locations 4715-4718). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

You had better believe that food science is on the case, trying to come up with a solid fat that is not going to be classified as a trans fat, and it will be in your foods until science has time to prove that it is deadly! I just eat good old lard. If I bake, it will be with good old lard. When I cook my eggs, it’s with good old lard. Lard is not dangerous, unless you try to swim in it. Franken-foods are more dangerous than real foods. Not every fake ingredient will be bad for me, personally, but nobody is looking for which ones are bad in the long run.

According to Mother Jones, they are figuring out some of the nutrients in processed foods that are causing many of us problems. One is fructan….

According to the researchers, most of us can tolerate gluten. But we have more trouble with another component of wheat called fructans, assemblages of fructose molecules that typically behave like dietary fiber—they’re “generally beneficial for most individuals by promoting the growth of healthy gut probiotics, improving stool frequency, and adding fecal bulk,” the authors note. But the authors point to emerging research suggesting that fructans are one of a group of carbs called FODMAPs (short for “fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols”) that for some people cause “unexplained bloating, belching, distension, gas, abdominal pain, or diarrhea,” as a recent paper by Georgia Regents University researchers put it.

Does “unexplained bloating, belching, distension, gas, abdominal pain, or diarrhea” sound like what you were looking to cure from your “gluten-free” foods? Well, in the future I predict that there will be “fructan-free” foods, just as soon as the health food stores can get them invented. Flock to those when you see them–except there is this….

 “Fructans are also found in 15 percent of all flowering plants, including artichoke, banana, broccoli, garlic, leek bulb, melon, onions, white peach, and rye,” the authors report”

Hmm. Think they can invent a ‘fructan-free’ GMO melon? Or, this could be your issue….

 …fructose malabsorption, which could afflict as much as 38 percent of the population, though the authors note that no large-scale epidemiological studies have been done to firmly establish how common it is. People with fructose malabsorption can’t absorb the free fructose present in the digestive tract, and the “unabsorbed fructose undergoes bacterial fermentation and induces abdominal symptoms, such as pain, bloating, and altered bowel habit,” the authors report. They note that irritable bowel syndrome, fructose malabsorption, and nonceliac wheat sensitivity “share a broad array of symptoms” and that “misdiagnosis is common” among them.

The BEST solution to all of these problems is to get over the idea that you need to eat something with carbohydrate in it every day. You do not. You also don’t need to eat fruit or vegetable every day, not to get some special nutrient contained in it. If your meat supply is from a naturally raised source, if your meats eat their preferred diet, you will get all of their good nutrition passed up the food chain to you. My meats have no fructans in them. My meats contain not artificial ingredients. My meats are sugar free, gluten free, fructose free. The only thing they are not is fat-free, but the fats they contain are mostly the same fat that is in olive oil and saturated fat, but the most healthful kind known to man.

Now for the daily Journal update….Feeling much better this morning. In case you were wondering, the fix for what ailed me the last couple of nights was more water during the day to prevent dehydration. When you quit eating carbs to the level that I have, approximately zero, your body casts off a great deal of water that it no longer needs that it used to carry glucose around in your blood. All of that water can carry off nutrients, it can cause cramping and discomfort. That is what I was experiencing, and it wasn’t so noticeable during the day as it was in the quiet of bed. Last night I fell fast asleep right away and slept comfortably for the night. I needed that.

Yesterday I also ate more food, just to be on the safe side. I ate cheeses between breakfast and lunch and between lunch and dinner. At dinner I ate some spinach with my shrimp, so that my bowels would have something to play with. I am not stopped up but I don’t want to be, either. I feel as if I have rounded the corner of the transition to this diet, and now I can just start tallying the positives.

About dcarmack

I am an instrument technician at the electric utility servicing the Kansas City Missouri metropolitan area. I am in the IBEW, Local 412. I was trained to be a nuclear power plant operator in the USN and served on submarines. I am a Democrat, even more so than those serving in Congress or the White House.
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