Is 'Moderation' Always a Good Idea?
We’ve probably all heard ‘everything in moderation’ as a good rule of thumb to follow. Whether we are talking about diet or exercise it seems to ring true, for the most part. But all rules have exceptions and this one is no different.
If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity moderate consumption of gluten is a death sentence. Is that an exaggeration? No it isn’t. Gluten is known to increase the incidence of dying from all causes, in intolerant individuals, when it is untreated - and the treatment is total and complete elimination of gluten.
Gluten consumption is a zero tolerance policy for those of us who are intolerant, meaning that you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
Why do I bring this up? I was reading a recent article in the Huffington Post titled “Should Everyone Avoid Gluten for Good Health”, where the author quoted Alessio Fasano, a personal hero of mine, as stating that he personally ate pizza, but in moderation.
This comment by Dr Fasano then was used as a jumping off point to stress ‘moderation’ as the best choice for those who are gluten tolerant.
This may sound innocent enough on the surface, but remember that most people hear what they want to hear and I can just imagine readers thinking, “If it’s good enough for Dr Fasano it’s good enough for me”.
The vital missing information here is that Dr Fasano is one of the lucky people who suffers from neither celiac disease nor gluten sensitivity. By his own admission and testing, his body tolerates gluten just fine. The fact that he chooses to ingest it in moderation probably has to do with the fact that he knows gluten is not properly digested by anyone, sensitive or not.
Eating Gluten Doesn't Always Result in 'Instant' Symptoms
Getting back to the article, the author, who is not a doctor but a registered dietician, uses what I consider a poor example of explaining why he feels that he himself is not gluten intolerant. He shares that he enjoyed a pasta dinner and felt just fine afterwards, thus confirming, in his opinion, that he is fine to eat gluten.
This is an incorrect way to diagnose the problem. I myself am highly gluten sensitive. If I chose to eat a pasta dinner, I too would feel fine afterwards. Two to three days later, however, I would begin to feel quite horrible.
My point is that gluten intolerance is not an allergy in the true definition of the word and therefore one is more likely to see reactions occurring many hours up to several days later, as opposed to seeing an immediate reaction. I'm not saying that immediate reactions never occur, they do. But to expect that no immediate reaction confirms a negative diagnosis, is far off the mark, and to share it with millions of uneducated readers is downright irresponsible.
The Huffington Post is a largely read site and I don’t want this article that preaches ‘moderation’ to be adopted by someone who is in fact gluten intolerant. Consuming gluten as little as once per month is frequent enough to keep someone quite ill.
Cheating with Gluten is a Dangerous Proposition
If you already know that you’re gluten intolerant please don’t be tempted to cheat. For those you know who do not enjoy good health, encourage them to get tested. If the test is positive for celiac or gluten sensitivity, make sure they know the importance of zero gluten consumption. It could make the difference between a healthy or disease-ridden life, not to mention a shortened life span for those who cheat.
Better Health is Available!
I hope you found this helpful. If you would like assistance for yourself or loved one, please consider calling us for a free health analysis - 408-733-0400.
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To your good health,
Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Co-author of “TheGluten Effect”
Author of the eBook: “Gluten Intolerance: What you don’t know may be killing you!”