Sydney, NSW, Australia

Gluten, Sugar, Dairy – What do they have in common?

Before I dive straight into why, I’d like to clarify what  inflammation is and how it affects every aspect of our health.

Inflammation can appear as anything from an autoimmune disease, to chronic fatigue, allergies, arthritis, psoriasis, eczema and even brain related conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. 

Sadly, most of us are suffering from one or more of these disorders but have no idea how to eliminate inflammation. So most of the time we end up utilizing pharmaceuticals in lieu of getting to the root cause. But the truth is that the majority of inflammatory diseases start in the GUT with an autoimmune reaction which progresses into systemic inflammation.

This is how it works:

When the intestinal lining is repeatedly damaged due to reoccurring leaky gut syndrome, damaged cells become unable to process and utilize the nutrients and enzymes that are vital to proper digestion. Eventually, digestion is impaired and absorption of nutrients is negatively affected. As more exposure occurs, your body initiates an attack on these foreign invaders. It responds with inflammation, allergic reactions, and other symptoms we relate to a variety of diseases.

The presence of inflammation is what makes most disease perceptible to an individual. It can and often does occur for years before it exists at levels sufficient to be apparent or clinically significant. How long it has been smoldering really determines the degree of severity of a disease and often the prognosis assuming the inflammation can be controlled.

So…What do Gluten, Sugar and Dairy have to do with it?

Gluten – It’s a protein found in wheat and its relates species: rye, barley, triticale and often oats. It is responsible for the elastic texture of dough and is often used to give the final product its chewy texture and rise. It is often used to preserve food and therefore extend its shelf life.

It is a very complex structure and our digestive enzymes are actually unable to break the protein into smaller particles (amino acids) and it is therefore resistant to digestion. This will cause damage to the intestines wall as mentioned above, and chaos occurs.

Sugar – Refined sugar is the leading cause of inflammation and it is directly linked to the development of chronic diseases including diabetes, obesity, heart disease and even cancel. Which are a result of an inflammation process in the body.

Poor quality Dairy – The majority of Dairy products are pasteurised (processed) which means that due to the high temperatures to destroy impurities, it also destroys its nutritious content such as calcium and vitamin C.

Also, a major component of milk is the sugar lactose, which poses a potential problem for many people. While a good number of people have difficulty digesting lactose, others cannot digest it at all and without adequate digestion, lactose can ferment in the intestine, producing gas, bloating, cramps and diarrhoea. In addition to that Casein, the primary protein in milk, can also trigger or contribute to inflammation also due to its high complexity.

Some other basic things to know if you choose to consume dairy products:

  • Heavy cream and butter contain virtually no casein or lactose, and most people can consume these with no problems.

  • Fully cultured hard cheeses contain predominantly casein and fat. If you have a problem with lactose, you may be able to tolerate fully cultured cheeses. The way to tell is if the carbohydrate content on the label is 0.

  • Most yogurts on the market have not been fully cultured and thus contain a fair amount of milk sugar. Read the label on the plain variety of your favorite brand to see how much carbohydrate it contains. This is all milk sugar — lactose and galactose. Making your own yogurt is an option — culturing your yogurt for longer periods will allow the bacteria to more fully consume the milk sugars.

  • Dairy products from cows that have been feeding on green grass contain the most nutrients.

What can we do to avoid inflammation?

Take care  of your Gut – Not only by minimizing the consumption of the foods listed above, but also increasing foods that improve your gut health:

– Probiotic rich foods (good quality yogurt, kefir, fermented vegetables)

– Prebiotic rich foods (vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, greens)

Change your lifestyle for good – There are seven common areas that should be considered when looking at causative factors for chronic inflammation, including: Medications, Infections, Stress, Hormonal, Neurological, and Metabolic issues.

Therefore, a Holistic approach to health – healthy body and mind –  is surely the best way for achieving the goals in health and well being.

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