You’d have to be living under a rock to not have at least heard the word gluten. A trip to any supermarket reveals labels touting freedom from gluten, dairy, corn, soy, nuts, and eggs. Gluten-free packaged food is a $1.5 billion a year market in America alone! So what’s all the fuss about, and why does it matter?
Eight years ago, I was eating a diet that consisted of lots of “healthy” foods, but felt really tired almost all the time. I went to a naturopathic doctor, and she tested me for food sensitivities that revealed that gluten, dairy, and soy were the culprits of my mystery fatigue, bloating, and 10 pounds that no amount of dieting or exercise had been able to shake.
Within a couple weeks of eliminating these foods, I was the Energizer Bunny incarnate, and within a couple months, I had lost 15 pounds with zero calorie counting or additional exercise. Since then, I have made it my mission in life to help people look to the refrigerator before their medicine cabinet when dealing with their health concerns.
Note: A food intolerance is distinct from a food allergy. A food allergy causes an instant and potentially life-threatening reaction. Less than 1% of the population suffers from true food allergies, while some studies reveal that as much as 95% of the population suffers from an intolerance to at least one food. An intolerance causes the immune system to react to a food as if it were protecting the body from a foreign invader. It’s tricky to link food intolerance to health problems, because the reaction is delayed and the effect is compounded over time. The symptoms are so broad that many holistic health advocates believe that hidden food intolerances are at play in nearly all health problems.
Here’s how to diagnose food intolerances and resources that will help you live healthy, delicious lives without the foods that may be undermining your health right now.