The gluten-free movement might be coming to an end. Well, that’s if Dr. John Douillard has any say in it. Dr. Douillard, a Boulder, Colorado-based certified ayurvedic practitioner and former NBA nutrition expert, says that gluten’s been getting a bad rap for far too long.
“Wheat has been found guilty without a fair trial,” says Dr. Douillard, author of Eat Wheat: A Scientific and Clinically-Proven Approach to Safely Bringing Wheat and Dairy Back into Your Diet. “The grains you choose are critical to keeping your blood sugar stable, your weight down, and your heart healthy.”
The $16-billion-dollar-a-year gluten-free industry started with a small percentage of people who actually have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder where gluten leads to damage in the small intestine and often-times severe symptoms including chronic diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea to those eating gluten products (i.e., wheat found in bread, pastas, crackers, noodles, and more).
But in the past several years the movement reached beyond those truly affected by wheat and onto millions of health-conscious people looking for the latest healthy way to help them slim down, get more energy, or feel better overall. To this group of gluten-free fans, Dr. Douillard says they might be barking up the wrong tree. “The push for gluten-free products and diets has gotten out of hand,” he opines.
While Dr. Douillard admits that there are people not technically suffering from celiac disease that feel some discomfort when they eat wheat, he says it’s for another reason. “In most cases,” he explains, “it’s because of a breakdown of the digestive system as a result of a diet of processed foods and pesticides. Taking foods out of the diet won’t fix that, it just kicks the real problem down the road, leaving folks at risk for more serious health concerns.”
There are actually benefits to eating wheat for those not truly allergic to it. “Whole wheat extends life, reduces the risk of dementia by 54%, and in study after study prevents the onset of Type 2 diabetes. The science shows health risks only with refined and processed wheat,” he says.
Other culprits include artificial sweeteners and a culture that encourages constant snacking, Douillard says, which can lead to what he calls “sugar belly.” “In general,” he explains, “processed foods are quicker to be broken down into sugar, or glucose, which enters the bloodstream faster than whole foods. Excess sugar in the blood will trigger the release of excess insulin, which converts and stores the sugar in the form of unwanted fat and damaging cholesterol particles.”
Here are Dr. Douillard’s 3 Top Tips To Decrease Your “Sugar Belly”…
- Monitor Your Blood Sugar
As they say, “knowledge is power.” The more you know about how your body reacts to certain foods, the better diet and nutrition decisions you can make. There are plenty over-the-counter tools you can find online or in drugstores to help you monitor your heath.
For instance, a glucometer (a.k.a., glucose meter) is a small medical device that can help determine the approximate concentration of glucose in the blood. It can reveal patterns of blood glucose changes, which can help in the planning of your meals, activities, and even at what time of day to take medications.
Dr. Douillard recommends this tool to anyone who has a sweet tooth, carries extra weight around the hips or belly, or is becoming intolerant to certain foods. “It could help you determine which foods or stressors are spiking your levels,” he suggests.
- Read Food Labels
Generally, weight-conscious people look at the nutrition label for the calorie or fat count. But, there’s more info you should be paying attending to.
“Get in the habit of comparing the sugar content in the products you purchase. Nutrition labels will tell you the amount of sugar that is naturally occurring in that food, plus any sugar added in processing,” he says.
- Stop Grazing!
We’ve grown to believe that 5-6 small meals spread out throughout the day is the best way to eat to boost the metabolism and lose weight, as opposed to three big meals a day.
But, Dr. Douillard says that’s a myth. “Neither is true,” he asserts. “Fat burns efficiently, given a chance, and grazing actually gets in the way.”
### Author Bio ###
Carrie Borzillo is an award-winning journalist and author of three books. She writes about sex/relationships for Men’s Health, DAME, and Canadian Pharmacy World.
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