This blog post may be controversial, and I am excited to hear your thoughts on it. I have certainly spent quite a bit of time thinking about it. It’s clear that is a very complex situation with many sides to the story.
I wasn’t planning on talking about this and mainly try to be reserved and not talk about my gluten choices, but the handing out of wheat berries in class and pro gluten talk two weeks ago made me want to share my idea on this fascinating subject.
My personal stance on gluten is that I want to abstain it as much as possible. This is challenging as contamination is very easy but since last November I have done everything possible to avoid it completely. What is intriguing about my relationship with wheat is that I definitely noticed that I actually felt better mentally after eating it, bread was the ultimate comfort food. The benefits that I personally feel after abstaining from wheat haven’t been enormous. The biggest changes that I feel are better metal focus and more self control due to the intense mental stamina it takes from avoiding all those tasty gluten foods. Some of the mental clarity I feel could be because soon after I cut out gluten a slew of other diet improvements came. That being said i’m going to make it a priority to avoid gluten for the rest of my life unless something changes my perspective.
The main reason why I’m not going to eat real bread again is not because how it makes me feel, but what I have read about gluten. WARNING: I’m about to get into some heavy puedoscience, but most people don’t understand the gluten free diet and think it’s a fad so i’m going to present a theory, that I have pieced together with some data about it.
One problem with gluten is that in the stomach it can’t be fully digested and some of it turns into Gliadorphin. (this is a good un biased veiw on the subject). “scientific evidence is not adequate to make treatment recommendations.” Again what is happening in the gut differs from every one tremendously but the theory is that gluten causes your body to increase the gaps in your gut causing leaky gut syndrome. Then things leak out which causes an inflammatory response. The theory is that Gliadorphin also leaks out and makes it the brain, which is what I attribute to bread being a comfort food and hard for most people want to stop eating it. Wheat is calling to you in a similar way to cocaine. Now why this isn’t scientifically proven but just the idea of it makes me want to not eat it, It also brings up some interesting correlations. The craziest ones that I have seen are the link to gluten and schizophrenia and to autoimmune diseases. It’s a very complex issue but what I have seen has caused me to want to avoid it.
For me I look at it from a quantified self perspective. Sure It could hurt me, but there is a also a big chance that it is fine but I want to avoid the risk until more research comes out. Until then sweet potatoes and rice will be my staple carbs.
It was awesome last week to travel up to Bob Quinn’s farm and see him growing ancient wheat. Ancient wheat is more tolerable for most people. It’s awesome to see what healthy foods Montana can produce. I’m thinking of grass fed beef, lentils, potatoes, vegetables, and buck wheat. It’s crazy that besides beef the demand is quite low for those healthy foods and wheat still rains king as the main cash crop in Montana. The bottom line seems to be that the majority of people will by food according to their taste buds and how they feel and bread tastes awesome and feels good. .