Gluten allergy sufferers may have an advantage over the rest of the population.
By following a gluten-free diet, those with a gluten allergy or celiac are reducing the intake of grains that may in fact be harmful to the general population.
According to the book The Gluten Connection the shift in diet when our ancestors switched from hunter-gatherer to farmer did not have a positive effect on our health, even as it boosted the population.
In a 2004 paper by O’Keef and Cordain, the effects of a grain-based diet on the population include:
* Reduced stature
* Increased cases of osteoporosis, rickets and other diseases caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
* Increased childhood mortality
* More cases of obesity and diabetes
* Shorter life spans
That should really give you something to think about. Our modern life is not nearly as healthy as we might think.
It is also interesting to note that hunter-gatherers spent far less time feeding themselves per day (a few hours) than the farmers that succeeded them (pretty much all daylight hours).
Most people with a gluten allergy or celiac disease switch to alternative grains. This makes live easier, but not necessarily better. Still, it looks as if wheat may be the worst of the lot.
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Corn is not necessarily all that much better. There is a relatively high incidence of corn allergies, and it is certainly responsible for its fair share of obesity and diabetes.
So what is the answer to this dietary problem?
Completely avoiding grains is difficult and probably not practical, but you can do a lot to reduce your grain intake.
Try replacing at least some of your grain intake with an increased consumption of vegetables (especially fresh vegetables) and protein.
Depending on your blood type, meat and fish may be the most appropriate source of protein. For others, vegetarian-based protein such as beans and pulses are preferable.
Maintaining a constant source of fresh fruit in your diet is also important.
When you do consume grain products, avoid processed foods completely. Whole grains are better than processed grains such as flour.
Have allergies? Find out more: Allergy
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