Should You Eliminate Gluten?
At SOS Athletic Excellence we recommend clients reduce or eliminate gluten from their daily nutritional intake. Eliminating wheat and other grains will help support insulin health. Humans have never had adequate stomach enzymes to break gluten down so it never gets effectively digested. This problem has been made even worse as wheat has become even more engineered over the last 50 years.
Wheat raises blood sugar levels quickly in the same way as plain table sugar. The white versions of these food are the worst as these contain minimal fibre and have a higher Glycaemic Index. This means they cause a fast spike in insulin.
The insulin spike stops the body burning fat for fuel. Any excess sugar or food intake is stored as fat. Constantly high insulin levels leads to insulin resistance, this is a precursor to diabetes. This is why it is best to eliminate grains, particularly white grains.
An allergy to gluten is called celiac disease and means that the sufferer will have serious digestive damage from eating foods that contain gluten, which causes a wide variety of other health problems including; weakness, anaemia, osteoathritous, stomach cancer, IBS and malnutrition (just to name a few).
All these issues will seriously hamper progress if aiming to increase muscle mass and get leaner. You may think you are okay on gluten but that does not mean you will benefit from removing it. It will certainly improve body composition, energy levels and performance.
As gluten is a stressor the body releases cortisol in response to the stressor. Research shows that cortisol particularly inhibits the harmful effects of gluten. The issue is that cortisol results in muscle degradation and elevated levels suppress immune response. This can lead to adrenal exhaustion, fatigue, depression and illness. This is not good for your health or body shape.
So I'd certainly recommend removing gluten from your diet and adopting a whole food based approach. If you are eliminating gluten for the first time it may be useful to use gluten free substitutes. However gluten free substances are often high carb and may compromise body composition and insulin health.
If you can get a healthy gut by eating high quality whole foods and can manage insulin effectively you can transform your body shape in a short time period.