He shared with me that 40 of his 58 years he ate like crap. He left home at 18, his mother only cooked from scratch and many things she grew herself including their meat. When he left home for university he survived on junk food and fast food. When he got married his wife loved to bake and they ate sweets every night. Both he and his wife were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in their late 40’s. They were both on medication and ‘cheated’ quite often. Within 5 years they were both on insulin and his wife died of complication from diabetes 3 years ago. After his wife died he decided food was just not worth his health.
Why am I sharing this with you? Well for me it really hit home because having food allergies/sensitivities I moan and complain about not being able to eat this and that. I meet many celiacs/people with food allergies and sensitivities that just want food that tastes good and they really are not concerned about the nutrition end of things.
Here is my take on it: For years I worked with families of autistic kids to help them heal their kid’s guts. For most children with autism it meant getting them off gluten, dairy, sugar and yeast, cleaning up the GI so they can heal. Most autistic kids have leaky gut syndrome (small holes in their GI that food etc. can get through wreaking havoc in the system). Basically these kids eat an anti-inflammatory diet to calm things down enough so they can heal. Celiacs have a similar problem. The GI is compromised, there is a lot of inflammation, nutrients are not absorbed and their whole system suffers.
Unfortunately just getting off gluten is not always enough. It may be for a few years but the one thing I hear over and over again is eventually they start feeling unwell again. Not always GI related, it could be joint pain, chronic migraines, skin problems, thyroid disease, type 2 diabetes etc.
When the GI tract is compromised it is imperative that we eat a good clean diet so we can fully heal. Does that mean we can never have a ‘treat’? No but we can’t be eating ‘crap’ every day. Garbage in, garbage out! We truly are what we eat. High inflammatory foods, high glycemic foods cannot be eaten every day or our health will suffer. Steer clear of products that are high in sugar (especially refined sugars and artificial sweetners), high glycemic carbs (rice, corn and potato starches), artificial colours, flavours and additives, unhealthy fats and low fibre ingredients.
I like the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, eat healthy foods (vegetables, fruit, lean meats, high fibre grains and healthy fats) and 20% of the time we eat the crappy stuff we all love so much. Gluten free does not mean healthy. If you are experiencing health challenges after getting off gluten take a serious and honest look at the foods you are consuming and start making some small choices….food really is not worth your health!