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Gluten free: Is gluten free healthier than eating gluten?

The answer depends on your reason.

If you have Celiac disease, you cannot (must not) eat gluten.

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity is a diagnosis of exclusion. People react to gluten without the intestinal damage found in Celiac disease and without the antibodies. Their symptoms (digestive, and systemic) improve when avoiding gluten.

If you think it’s a health fad to follow, and replace your pasta bread and baked goods with gluten free substitutes, don’t. Gluten free substitutes do not help you lose weight. They do not increase health and lower your risk

Gluten free substitutes are high in carbohydrates and stimulate insulin resistance and spike blood sugar levels, often times much higher than non gluten free products. Potato-rice-corn-tapioca-oat flours are used in the preparation of gluten free substitutes.

This increases belly fat storage. Counterproductive to the goal of weight loss and improved health.

Increased belly fat increases your risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and strokes. The more belly fat you store, the more insulin resistant you get. The higher your insulin resistance, the easier you store fat. It’s a vicious cycle.

Eating a grain free, low carb diet is optimal for health, and lowering disease risk.

The Paleo diet removes all grain from the diet and this leads to a much lower carbohydrate intake, which avoids the intake of gluten free substitutes that raise insulin levels and increases belly fat storage.

The Paleo diet uses nut flours and coconut flour as the primary substitutes for baking. This is preferable for health because the impact on insulin and belly fat storage is low.

Glyphosate is a chemical found in wheat and wheat products. It is sprayed as a pesticide and to desiccate and ripen the wheat at harvest.

UC Berkeley School of Public Health published in March 2023 that glyphosate in childhood causes liver inflammation and metabolic disorders and lead to cancer, heart disease and diabetes later in life.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded in 2015 that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic.

Glyphosate impacts the function of liver enzyme pathways and interferes with the most important function of your liver: detoxification.

Your liver is critical for processing hormones and it’s metabolites. It also processes all toxic molecules, medication, and drugs.

Your body creates fat to store toxins. Stubborn fat is often a sign of high toxic burden.

The Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology published research by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine: non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is far more severe in those with higher levels of glyphosate.

If you avoid gluten and wheat because you want to avoid glyphosate, that is an optimal choice.

Instead of replacing with gluten-free substitutes and other grains, consider following a Paleo diet and paleo recipes.

Dr. Natasha Iyer, MD

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