Below, Rachel Rose gives us a thorough breakdown of TRUE gluten free vs. Traditional Gluten Free

  • There are several differences between a traditional gluten-free diet and a true gluten-free diet and it is important to know the differences and adhere to appropriate changes for healing to occur. A traditional gluten-free diet would be the avoidance of wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats. Despite the fact that there is foods that are labeled gluten-free, many of them contain genetically modified rice and corn which has the potential to cause harm to those with gluten-sensitivity despite those individuals abstaining from the wheat, barley, rye, and oats. It is estimated that 41% of foods labeled gluten-free actually do contain enough gluten to cause harm. There are higher levels of people who are not responding to the traditional gluten-free diet and becoming truly gluten-free would require further vigilance and dietary changes. It is common for individuals with gluten-sensitivity to react negatively to milk and this is due to the fact that the cows are being fed a genetically modified diet of corn, thus, the milk is not truly gluten-free despite being labeled as such. Dairy is not gluten-free if the cows are being fed grain. Rice is also polished in a corn based residue and can cause damage to the gluten-sensitive as well. A traditional gluten-free diet may not be the most effective diet to stop the harm being done and to heal properly and in these cases going truly gluten-free is crucial. Matter of fact, researchers have given the traditional gluten free diet and “F”.

A true gluten-free diet would consist of the following: grass fed beef only, wild caught fish not farm raised, chicken that is free range and organic, poultry and eggs that are organic and free range, organic fruits and vegetables that one is not allergic to, and tree nuts such as almonds, pistachios, and pecans. Foods not considered to be part of the true gluten-free diet are seeds and dairy. Dairy is okay only when it comes from grass fed cows such as Jersey cows. Raw dairy from a reputable farm is what is recommended. Red meat is crucial and is a healthy source of animal if it is grass fed. Teff, sorghum, spelt, rice, corn or maize, millet, and triticale are not recommended on a true gluten-free diet. Also, buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa are at high risk for cross-contamination and are not recommended on a true gluten-free diet.

Gluten can cause leaky gut syndrome and because of this, many people develop additional food allergies. It is important to be tested for food allergies to help determine what other dietary exposures are contributing to disease. It is also important to be tested for vitamin and mineral deficiencies as these are common with individuals who are gluten-sensitive. These tests will help the individual to heal and obtain optimal health in addition to their true gluten-free diet.

  • There are vast differences between gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. Gluten affects different people in different ways. First of all, gluten sensitivity is not a disease but it causes diseases. However, gluten sensitivity can cause celiac disease if the gluten-sensitive person continues to consume gluten. One can have gluten sensitivity without having celiac disease, but one cannot have celiac without gluten sensitivity. Gluten sensitivity is a state of genetics. Gluten sensitivity is an immune reaction to the protein gluten found in wheat, barley, rye, and some oats. Gluten sensitivity involves different organs and different mechanisms than celiac. There are approximately 300 different medical conditions directly linked to gluten-sensitivity. Gluten sensitivity can manifest as bone pain, fatigue, weight loss, anemia, decreased libido, hypoglycemia, seizures, and liver damage and these are to name only a few manifestations. Other medical conditions directly linked to gluten sensitivity include alopecia, dermatitis, autism, ataxia, hair loss, lactose intolerance, eczema, and UTI. Any woman with unexplained infertility should also be tested for gluten sensitivity. One of the best ways to test for gluten sensitivity is DNA testing. Blood tests have a high tendency toward a false negative and are non-specific. Stool tests are more accurate than blood tests, but are still linked to only gliadin.

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease of the small intestine caused by gluten-induced damage. It is triggered by genetics and environment. Everyone with celiac disease is gluten intolerant, which is basically an inability to digest gluten. For someone with celiac disease, a true gluten free diet is absolutely crucial for health and healing. Old school knowledge used to suggest that celiac disease is the only manifestation of gluten sensitivity, however, new school knowledge states that celiac is a rare manifestation of gluten sensitivity. Anyone with autoimmune diseases needs to be tested for gluten sensitivity. Silent celiac disease is when an individual has developed a serious of illnesses not knowing that they are gluten sensitive. These individuals often get a diagnosis of lymphoma after a period of about 20-30 years of continuing to consume gluten without knowing they have gluten sensitivity.

Biopsies are the only diagnostic means for celiac disease but they are not an accurate representation of the entire intestine. Sometimes, neurological dysfunction may precede celiac and be the only manifestation of celiac. These patients often had a negative biopsy for celiac disease.

In summary, gluten sensitivity and celiac are two different things. Both lead to poor health and increased illness if gluten is consumed. If we ignore what our genes are meant for us to do we will pay the consequences of poor health.

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