some thoughts on baking gluten-free and overall health...post Wise Traditions 2010
If you or a family member has a gluten intolerance or sensitivity and you have chosen to cut out gluten, there is still a health issue that remains. Maintaining a diet which is high in processed carbohydrates by switching from processed wheat or gluten products to other processed gluten-free products (such as rice flour mixes) WILL NOT SOLVE THE PROBLEM. It may in fact encourage other problems, such as continued inflammation, gut dysbiosis and candida. I encourage you first to HEAL YOUR GUT, or your child's gut, or whoever is currently on the "GF" diet.
I was privileged to spend last Friday with Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride as she presented to the Wise Traditions Conference 2010 in King-of-Prussia, PA. She has written two books thus far (the Gut and Psychology Syndrome and Put Your Heart in Your Mouth) about the connection of the health of the gut and gut flora to overall health, and is currently working on a third: the Gut and Physiology Syndrome. Dr. Campbell-McBride is unwavering in her knowledge that all eczema, all food allergies, all seasonal allergies, all AUTO-IMMUNE disorders, all ADD, all ADHD, all rheumatism, and many other illnesses and imbalances in the body can be traced to the state of the gut and the health of the gut flora in the body.
The best protocol that I have seen for HEALING THE GUT is in Dr. Campbell-McBride's newly revised Gut and Psychology Syndrome book. Cutting down on the amount of grains (cookies, crackers, bread, pies, cakes, pretzels, etc etc) made from grains including gluten in your overall diet will help but not heal the source of the problem. Those with weak digestive systems or children or adults on the Autistic Spectrum SHOULD AVOID ALL GRAINS, those containing gluten and those that are gluten-free, including rice, until the gut is healed. Rice is a grain. Like all grains, it contains anti-nutrients, including phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors, which put stress on the pancreas. It also contains irritating tannins and complex sugars which the body cannot break down. But most of all, a weak digestive system cannot properly process complex sugars like those found in rice, tapioca flour, and potato starch and cannot utilize them. These are the carbohydrates found in nearly all GF products. Unused carbohydrates and those that are not properly broken down or digested become food and fuel for intestinal pathogens. These pathogens can take control, poison the intestinal tract and blood stream, damage the gut wall, and impair brain and nervous system function. Also, genetically engineered rice fortified with iron is now being produced. Reports show that too much iron is as much of a danger as other toxic metals for ASD children.
Sooooooo what does all that mean? At its base, it translates first into EAT REAL FOOD. Gluten-free or not, EAT REAL FOOD. Even if you are not ready to start the GAPS protocol, EAT REAL FOOD. You will feel better, your body and mind and soul will be nourished. Your body will find its natural weight. (Processed food WILL kill you, though it may be slowwwwwwwwww at it. ) And this Thanksgiving, gluten-free or not, make some wonderful breads, muffins, and pie crusts with nuts or coconut flour. They are nutritious and delicious, and good for all of us! (unless you have a nut allergy, of course. Which leads me back to my original idea...take some time to HEAL THE GUT. Then you won't have an allergy next year!)