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Diet Fads Through the Ages

Fad diets drive me crazy. Mostly because they have very little to do with achieving health.

CNN posted an entertaining look at diets through history beginning with Lord Byron’s vinegar-and-water diet in the 1820s, touching on the memorable grapefruit and cabbage soup fazes of the mid-twentieth century, and going full steam into the Scarsdale diet of the 70s, the Atkins diet of the 80s, South Beach, Weight Watchers, The Zone, and more.

The latest fad that has gotten everyone on the bandwagon is the gluten-free craze.

Now, I understand that Celiac Disease is real and many people experience internal inflammation after consuming wheat products, but wheat is not universally bad for everyone. In fact, according to Dr. Alessio Fasano of the Celiac Research Center, only 7% of the population, or 1 out of every 133 people, actually has Celiac Disease, though up to 30% may have some sensitivity to wheat.

While you must have been eating wheat to receive positive test results for Celiac Disease, an easy way to discover if wheat or gluten is making you feel badly is to eliminate wheat and other gluten grains (rye, barley, spelt, kamut) from your diet for two weeks… and then eat something containing wheat, like a piece of bread.

If you have a wheat sensitivity, over the next 2-3 days you might then experience anything from belching, bloating, distension, gas, diarrhea or constipation to dizziness, nausea, foggy head, vision problems, fatigue, or even tingling or other nervous system sensations.

Or, maybe you won’t feel anything different at all, like most people. The great majority of people can tolerate wheat just fine.

Watch out before you fall victim to a fad and then needlessly eliminate an entire food group and its nutrients. If you suspect wheat is a problem for you, it’s worth doing your own elimination test and challenge before taking the pledge to go gluten-free. Just because something is popular and trendy doesn’t always mean it is the best thing for your body to do.

Posted in: food sensitivities

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