The current gluten-free diet craze is unhealthy for those who do not need it. Traditionally, our kind of high-carbohydrate eating has been the diet of people throughout recordable human history, and a large share of these civilisations, ancient and modern, have relied on generous amounts of wheat, barley, and/or rye for survival.
Exaggerating the benefits of a wheat-free diet has, consequently, seen an avalanche of so many books promoting a low-carb movement, typified by the popular Paleo and Atkins diets. These books recommend people eat unlimited amounts of eggs, full-fat cheese, other dairy products, meat, fish, chicken, and vegetable (olive) oils; and reduce or eliminate favorite (even non-gluten) “comfort foods,” like corn, rice, oats, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, potatoes, and beans. Gluten has been vilified by these people. They have also created mass confusion regarding gluten. People of the world are trying to “fix” their health problems by eating gluten-free. Unless you have been diagnosed with Coeliac disease by a biopsy, the bacteria in your gut is where you should be focused to regain digestive health.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a form of protein present in wheat, barley, rye and other grains. It is what makes dough rise and stay elastic. Gluten is often used to make seitan, a meat alternative used by vegans to make a plethora of dishes from burgers to bolognaise. It is sometimes added to other foods to increase their protein content. You can incorporate this beneficial protein into your diet in many ways. Always be sure to use organic products to avoid pesticides, herbicides, fertilisers, etc.,
Seitan (also known as wheat meat or wheat gluten) is a dynamic, rich-tasting food popular in veggie burgers, stir-fries, cutlets, and other dishes. Made from wheat gluten cooked with shoyu and kombu, it is a staple of traditional Far Eastern cooking, especially among Buddhists who prefer a strong, high-energy vegan dish to animal-based food.
Seitan is high in protein, calcium, iron, and other nutrients; seitan gives strength and energy, and it contributes to general good health. It is particularly strengthening for the liver and gallbladder.
There are certain health benefits of eating wheat, barley, and rye. They act as prebiotics, which means that it is fuel for the healthy bacteria that live in our gut. It helps these bacteria to proliferate and create good digestive health. They are very high in fiber and help to lower cholesterol. These also help to stabilize blood sugar. When used in its whole, unprocessed form, wheat, barley, and rye are very healthy foods.
In good health,
A long-time vegan, lover of animals, nature and life and passionate about human ecology. As an eternal optimist, increasing the number of people worldwide to switch to a wholefood, plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle is her mission. Together with her husband Bill Tara, they have created The Human Ecology Project.