While you've probably seen other articles out there ranting about the negative health effects of Gluten, I'm going to explain what you really want to know - How by eliminating Gluten your body will actually burn more fat. Admittedly, I will have to touch on some physiology so you have a better understanding of how the human body responds to Gluten.
Why eliminate gluten?
Well the short answer is, Gluten is a poison!! Big statement, I know… While one of the outcomes of The Primal Six Pack Program is physical excellence, another is optimal heath and well-being. This is achieved by eliminating processed sugars, trans fats, grains and the infamous Gluten. To better understand why we need to eliminate it, we need to understand what Gluten is and its effect on the human body.
Firstly, what is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein primarily found in wheat, barley and rye.
What is Gluten intolerance?
Gluten intolerance is an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation throughout the body. Most people suffer from some form of Gluten intolerance, however the symptoms aren’t always prevalent. Levels of intolerance can range anywhere from gluten sensitivity to full-blown Celiac disease. This immune response is caused by a physical condition in your gut where your body is unable to digest the gluten proteins. These undigested proteins remain in your intestines and are treated by your body as a foreign invader, irritating your gut and flattening the Microvilli along the small intestine wall.
Without the Microvilli, you have considerably less surface area to absorb nutrients from the calories you ingest. This leads sufferers to experience symptoms of malabsorption, including nutrient deficiencies, anemia, nausea, neurological disorders, chronic fatigue and much more.
Remember how I said that you could burn fat by eliminating Gluten
Well, by avoiding malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies, we require fewer calories to satisfy our daily nutritional requirements, thus resulting in a calorie deficit and more fat being burnt as a consequence.
Why quit Gluten?
Like I said, Gluten is a poison. Grains, like wheat are defenseless - the only way they can fight back against predators is via the poison in their husks. This poison is called Gluten. Some creatures, like birds are clearly adapted to overcome the defenses of Gluten grains. Most mammals are not adapted to grains and don’t eat them in substantial quantities.
The question is, have we as humans adapted? NO!! We have the same makeup as our primitive relatives who didn’t eat grains. The only thing that has changed is our diet due to commercial influences.
We tolerate Gluten, like cigarette smoke in the lungs. Then one day, it’s too much. Things boil over and BANG we have lung cancer… or gluten intolerance OR in severe cases, Celiac disease.
A few interesting facts about Gluten
- We’re eating more wheat than ever before, thanks to cereal companies
- Wheat today contains more Gluten than ever before, it also acts an insecticide
- Intolerances have been building up over the generations
- Celiac disease has increased by 400% over the past 50 years
- The damage gluten does in our gut can lead to other autoimmune diseases
How does Gluten poison?
Gluten eats away at your gut lining. A damaged gut means less absorption of nutrients. It messes with the gall bladder & bile production. This means you are unable to absorb fat soluble nutrients (see "Fats" section) such as vitamins A, D, & K which in turn means you are not able to utilise other nutrients & minerals that you ingest.
Once the gut lining is damaged we are at high risk of autoimmune disease, such as Hashimoto’s & several types of cancer including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Increased insulin levels mess with the pancreas. This inflammation can be a potential cause of pancreatic cancer & pancreatitis.
All things in moderation… Not in this case
Sometimes moderation isn’t possible. Unfortunately Pareto’s principle, otherwise known as the “80/20” rule can’t be applied when it comes to Gluten. Being partly Gluten free won’t suffice, even the smallest amounts of gluten found in soy sauce can cause an immune response.
Before you place your next Dominos order
According to the journal of Lancet (Vol 358, August 4, 2001) when someone with gluten intolerance eats gluten, even just a little it increases their risk of death by 600%
A recent large study in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at almost 30000 patients from 1969 to 2008 and found there was a 72% increased risk of death in those with gut inflammation related to gluten (but no Celiac’s), and 35% increased risk in those with gluten sensitivity but no Celiac disease.
While some of the statements in this article may frighten you, my intention was not to use scaremonger tactics to convince you to adopt a gluten free lifestyle. I’m simply sharing the unadulterated facts to highlight the health benefits of adopting a gluten free diet. I’ve been using the Paleo diet for over 6 months now and have noticed a vast increase in energy levels, mental clarity and of course dramatic fat loss. To start living a healthy Gluten free lifestyle check out the Paleo Recipe Book by Sebastian Noel. If your goal is fat loss, opting for Gluten free foods will allow you to break through your fat loss plateaus so you reach your goals.