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straight dope: how bad is gluten, really?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by JoreyTK View Post
    If you haven't already a great book to read is Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis. It gives a lot of reasons why to drop the frankenwheat that permeates our food source.

    Amazon.com: Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health (3520700000720): William Davis: Books
    It's important to note that the typical American eats wheat with virtually every meal - 3 times a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year - and it typically takes 40-50 years for the effects to start catching up to them. What would happen if you had it for one meal a week? Or two meals a month? Would you even notice? Or - and here's the big question - in such a tiny quantity to a non-celiac, could it actually have a medicinal effect by introducing a mild toxin into the body, which would then be hormesis? I wonder if at any point gluten could actually be a beneficial stressor - in small quantities below toxicity, could it actually make you stronger and more resilient to harm?
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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    • #17
      I'll have wheat on rare occasion and I don't know if it hurts me or if it is psychological and I think it hurts me, but I am really fine. But yeah, I've gone from eating it 3 times a day to eating it maybe 4-5 times in a year.

      I have a feeling that for most people, it's like sugar. No big deal when it is .05% of your diet, big problem when it is 50%.

      However, for me it used to have an addictive quality to it. IE, could not stop eating wheat products. I've never binged on any food like I have on things with wheat plus sugar in them. I would eat it until sick. I would never make it a main part of my diet again, simply because I eat too much of it, it takes up too high a % of calories and I can't get all the nutrients I need without way overeating.

      http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
      Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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      • #18
        I think we need to consider a couple things. This here really jumps out at me.... your a 27 year old MALE with labs that put you on borderline hypothyroid. Your younger and of the opposite sex of the group of the population this normally afflicts. There is something significant going on.

        Thats really enough for me to say that gluten is potentially a huge issue. Most people with hypothyroid also suffer leaky gut. Once you have leaky gut it doesn't matter if your gluten tolerant or not. The damage is done and the secondary inflammation and autoimmune issues with eating wheat based products ensue.

        Thats my take on the OP's situation in particular, rather than gluten at large.
        Last edited by Neckhammer; 01-30-2013, 04:17 PM.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
          I think we need to consider a couple things. This here really jumps out at me.... your a 27 year old MALE with labs that put you on borderline hypothyroid. Your younger and of the opposite sex of the group of the population this normally afflicts. There is something significant going on.

          Thats really enough for me to say that gluten is potentially a huge issue. Most people with hypothyroid also suffer leaky gut. Once you have leaky gut it doesn't matter if your gluten tolerant or not. The damage is done and the secondary inflammation and autoimmune issues with eating wheat based products ensue.

          That's my take on the OP's situation in particular, rather than gluten at large.
          Well, my lab put me in the upper part of the "normal range", so it could indicate an issue exists, or it could just be statistical variance. I wont really know until I get a 2nd test. Maybe the small dietary changes will be enough to fix the (potential) problem. Maybe total gluten elimination is what it will take. Maybe it has nothing to do with my diet and I'll need meds, which sucks, but oh well. I doubt that because I don't have any obvious symptoms of hypothyroidism.

          Choco's approach sounds good, as usual... I think my MO will be to allow it once in a while if it's worth it, then abstain completely for a month before my 2nd test and see what happens.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by primal pete View Post
            Choco's approach sounds good, as usual... I think my MO will be to allow it once in a while if it's worth it, then abstain completely for a month before my 2nd test and see what happens.
            I don't want to sound like I'm advocating occasional wheat consumption, though. I'm just advocating not beating yourself up over one off meal. However, be careful not to fall down the slippery slope where your "one off meal" a month becomes "one off meal" a week.

            I believe the ideal wheat consumption is exactly zero. However, we don't live in an ideal world. If you want to enjoy a beer during the Superbowl, don't go beating yourself up over 75ppm of gluten. If you take a vacation to Italy, don't miss out on the local food because you're scared a single bowl of pasta will kill you. That doesn't mean you go out and eat a bowl of pasta once a month just because it may be harmless. IMO, you want to get to the point where you don't want it. I don't eat pasta because I have no desire to eat pasta - meat, eggs, dairy and nuts taste so much better and are so much better for you. I'm at the point where my thought process is: "There's no point in eating pasta, not only is it bad for me but it doesn't taste as good...why eat bad food that tastes bad?"

            If you can get to that point, you win.
            Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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            • #21
              For sure - I didn't think that. And I totally agree with you, there's no "good reason" to eat wheat when you can get the same carbs and nutrients from other things like rice and potatoes, not to mention all the substitute gluten free food that's available now.

              I also agree in that the small detriment of having a beer once a month would probably be outweighed by the stress caused by eliminating that .05% wheat consumption in rare instances to be "completely clean." On a totally unrelated note, It's kind of funny how paleolithic zealotry has become almost indistinguishable from vegan zealotry, despite the former thinking they are white knights. Actually, they both think they are white knights.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
                It's important to note that the typical American eats wheat with virtually every meal - 3 times a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year - and it typically takes 40-50 years for the effects to start catching up to them. What would happen if you had it for one meal a week? Or two meals a month? Would you even notice? Or - and here's the big question - in such a tiny quantity to a non-celiac, could it actually have a medicinal effect by introducing a mild toxin into the body, which would then be hormesis? I wonder if at any point gluten could actually be a beneficial stressor - in small quantities below toxicity, could it actually make you stronger and more resilient to harm?
                I think it's good to have some grain product once a week or so to at least keep yourself tolerant of the stuff. I don't want to have the reactions other people do. They originally do fine on it then cut it out, 1 year later they have a slice of bread and complain about how it made them sick for 24 hours.

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