What a variety of answers this one gets! I have been privileged to have had this conversation with many people at conferences across the nation. And it breaks my heart how many people believe that they are really gluten free……only after a few questions it becomes clear that they are only having less gluten each week than they used to. Usually, they feel they are living a gluten free diet if they only a sneak a regular flour (wheat, rye, barley or spelt) cookie or slice of bread once a week. Many tell me that they feel a little bit better but get frustrated since still have inflammation or pain even with the “sacrifice” they are making being “almost always” gluten free. I wish I could share that look on their faces when they learn that they have never been gluten free yet in their life. But what great hope if they feel better reducing gluten that they will feel much better when eliminating it completely.
The scientific limit for unacceptable amount of gluten in food is 20 parts per million – just a crumb of gluten….which for a celiac or gluten intolerant person is enough to make them sick for a couple weeks. According to many experts like Dr. Terry Wahls, Dr. David Perlmutter and Dr. Peter Osborne this “crumb of gluten” can cause destructive inflammation and may cause harm for up to a few months. With that said – people are unique. Firstly, the amount of time the gluten ingested may affect each person may vary. Secondly, if you are celiac or gluten intolerant, then being 100% gluten free is required – there is no such thing as being “almost” gluten free.
Notice I didn’t say people who want to lose weight. For the people I serve, being gluten free is a choice to eliminate inflammation or a negative effect from gluten. It’s not a fad diet to lose a few pounds. Actually, the opposite may happen unless one completely eliminates grains. Gluten free grains may have a higher glycemic impact on the body that one will want to monitor.
Lastly, there are those who really intend to be gluten free, feel better when they are but are not celiac. And do not have enough of a violent response to adhere to the 100% gluten free. They request a gluten free menu but grab a cracker or roll from the bread basket. Then they order a meal that “has just a speck of gluten” and they will just take an enzyme to be okay. At first, I earnestly try to educate but over time am learning that it is pointless. Until they decide that they want to feel better and it is a priority, they will remain “almost gluten free.”
I look forward to learning your story of your journey to being gluten, allergen, synthetic ingredient or toxin free. We would love to connect with you online, by phone or at one of our live events. Best ways to connect are by phone at (847) 502-8394, email Elizabeth@yourcomfortforlife.com or on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.gronert