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Why Gluten Free Diets Fail

As the world continues to accept and recognize gluten sensitivity as a major contributor to poor health, we face another looming problem. Why are so many people with gluten sensitivity not getting healthy when they go on a gluten free diet? The answer is more simple than you would think, and it has a name… The Gluten Free Whiplash Effect
This diet phenomenon commonly occurs for many who do not go on a TRUE gluten free diet.
When one initially goes gluten free, a state of dietary distress and confusion sets in. Many limit their diets to an extreme because they are not quite sure what to eat. The typical gluten free diet learning curve takes 8-12 weeks. This is because one must spend enough time educating themselves about acceptable products, restaurants, etc. During this time, the body starts to heal and most people do very well noticing dramatic improvements in their health.
Once the learning curve is conquered, people tend to gravitate toward the processed, packaged “gluten free” food items. People tend to get lazy and make the choice of convenience over health. BIG MISTAKE! Once the cardinal rule of nutrition is broken, the Gluten Free Whiplash Effect tends to set in.
Let’s take a closer look:
  1. The Cardinal Rule – One cannot achieve or maintain health eating unhealthy foods.
  2. Processed and packaged food is not healthy regardless of whether or not the label claims to be gluten free.
  3. Eating unhealthy foods leads to poor health (I know, this should be a no brainer).
  4. Many over the counter packaged foods contain cross contamination of gluten
  5. Many “gluten free” products contain other types of grain based glutens that have not been adequately studied to be safe for those with gluten sensitivity (see video tutorial #1 for more on this).
  6. Most processed “gluten free” products contain genetically modified grains, high amounts of sugar, and are devoid of any significant nutrient density.
Ultimately, food choice is one of the biggest and most important environmental factors that we have control over. One should always ask the question – “is that healthy?” vs. “is that gluten free?”
I know that many of you reading this can relate. I have personally seen this phenomenon clinically in more than a thousand patients. If you happen to fit the profile above, or if you are just not responding to a classic gluten free diet, a TRUE gluten free diet full of whole, organic, healthy foods will be an answer to your prayers. How does your diet stack up? Do you pass or fail when it comes to making healthy choices? Please comment below…

7 Responses

  1. I follow the diet absolutely. I eat all fresh items meat that is organic no grains or processed food of any kind. I find I am still tired and many times my gut which is IBS is still sensitive to many thins. I am better than I waas before the diet but am not cured yet by any means. I am tired of my gut ruling my day.

  2. Dana,
    Organic meat is not enough. You have to eat meat that is grass fed. You may also consider having additional food allergy testing performed to rule out any other problematic foods.
    All the best,

  3. Ihave been gluten free almost 5 yrs..diag.celiac..I eat most fresh veg and fruit do not make meat part of my reg. eat fish once a maybe 4 slices GF bread a week..treat myself to cokkie or pastry here or there..fresh from gf bakery..never did like boxed food..I take sublingual B 12 for energy…works..I have hypo thyroid..lichenplanus,mouth,lichenmucosis.allautoimmune….I am still having sore gut..I found bananna soy cantalope..apples make me bloated sore..I have been slowly learning what makes me feel bad..not just gluten..I am so much healthier..lost thirty pounds in 4 yrs not overweight but I had gained weight since I hit 50….

  4. I saw alot of improvement in my health when I went g/f several years ago….but it wasn’t until I also eliminated dairy that I finally reached my optimal health and well being!

  5. I too have been eating a fresh food, diet devoid of all grains, and still having problems. I have finally narrowed it down to Candida Albicans and Leaky Gut. I eat no sugar or fruit, but very hard to get under control. I was sure when I was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity by Enterolab, I would eat a gluten free diet, and live happily ever after. Didn’t happen, still struggling 5 years later. I have seen improvements since going all grain free, but still have a ways to go for complte health. I will not give up……….

  6. There are other ways to ingest gluten besides through the mouth. The skin is another; lotions, soaps, shampoos, razors (the gel in the gel strips of razors often contains gluten), are examples. Even stain sealer most often contains gluten, so if you sit on a sofa that has a stain sealer on it, or even your carpet, you are still ingesting it. My gluten free diet changed to a gluten free lifestyle in September, 2008, and I have seen nothing but healthy benefits and results since. Prior, I was still just maintaining, and being ruled by my gut. Other things to watch for:Laundry & dish washing detergent, (I haven’t found an automatic dishwasher detergent that’s GF yet, and the residue is unbelievable!), your pets food (even though you don’t eat that!), MANY medications, GMO products, pesticides, even facial tissues can contain gluten! (In the ‘lotions’). There is a restaurants in Phoenix that is so concerned about being able to serve uncontaminated GF foods that they have a separate kitchen for preparing it and serve it on separate dishes so the dishwashers know the round ones don’t get put in the dishwasher – the round ones are washed by hand with GF dish soap. You would think that would be safe, but if their meats aren’t organic, grass fed, and their veggies aren’t organic, it makes no difference to someone like me. For some, like me, it doesn’t matter where the gluten molecules come from – I can’t even breath white flour when my mom is making homemade pasta, it effects my lungs immediately, and then I suffer for days with the intestinal problems. But hang in there! There is hope! After two years of my completely GF lifestyle, I’m feeling healthier than I ever remember! I even think my osteoporosis is reversing! Its all in education! Never give up! A little inspiration, if I may… I have really come to understand that – LESS IS MORE!!! 🙂

  7. I’m just coming off the tradition GF diet and completely eliminating grains. I can’t believe what the difference. My stomach is no longer bloated, no horrible gas or gas pains. Now, if I could just get my energy back.

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