Gluten- Should everyone avoid it?

Sourdough loaf

This is one of my first loaves of bread made from scratch with the assistance of my sourdough starter, Gertie. I am new to bread making but all this exposure has inspired me to post a bit. So let’s talk GLUTEN! Gluten is a combination of a couple protein components of wheat. It’s responsible for making bread (or other product) elastic and stretchy (as opposed to dry and crumbly). As a LICENSED naturopathic doctor, you can bet that I’ve worked with tons of people either following a gluten free diet, voluntarily or recommended to them by a friend, family member, other naturopathic doctor. 

Should everyone be avoiding gluten?? As with many things that apply to your health, the answer is that it depends. For a certain subset of those with an autoimmune condition called celiac disease, complete elimination of gluten is imperative. For those with other autoimmune conditions, it’s likely you may have resolution of some symptoms with elimination. For those with digestive issues, you may benefit as well. So it is a range. 

Honestly, I don’t recommend a complete gluten free diet all that often. If gluten is a potential concern, I would rather eliminate it properly (the gold standard for diagnosing food allergies or sensitivities) and conduct a safe reintroduction to assess if it may be causing symptoms. Even if there are symptoms upon reintroduction, that doesn’t always mean a gluten free life. When it comes to eliminating food and entire food categories, I take this very seriously. Often eliminating foods, or deeming them as “evil” can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food. All that being said, the best way to know if you should eliminate gluten (or any other food for that matter) to improve your condition is to work closely with a LICENSED naturopathic doctor. 

#naturopathicdoctor #naturopathicmedicine #glutenfreediet #healthyeating