The 4 Gluten Diet Tips that Convinced Jordan Peterson to Let His Family Switch to a Meat-Only Diet
Mikhaila Peterson’s Autoimmune Disease Story.
It’s fair to say that Mikhaila Peterson struggled with her fair share of autoimmune issues as a child.
The daughter of the author, speaker, and academic Jordan Peterson, Mikhaila faced constant challenges. It all started with a diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis that caused her own body’s immune system to attack her joints. The symptoms led to her struggling with depression and, as a teen, caused her to sleep more than she needed to.
But that all started to change when she began to understand the role that diet plays in such conditions.
Mikhaila started cutting things from her diet until all she had left was “beef and salt and water.” By doing that, Mikhaila says that all of her symptoms are now in remission. In fact, her father even soon followed suit.
Now, we don’t recommend taking the same approach as Mikhaila, since a meat-only diet isn’t the answer to your autoimmune issues. In fact, these big general diet recommendations often do more harm than good in the long run.
However, she did realize the important role that food plays. And in particular, she recognized the damage that gluten can cause to the human body. Food absolutely matters and can quickly change symptoms for the better or worse.
In this article, we look at why gluten is such a big deal. We’ll also share some tips for eliminating it from your diet.
Why Is Gluten Such a Big Deal?
Data shows us that gluten leads to between a 7 and 11 times increase in autoimmune disease. There are definitely genetic predispositions to autoimmune disease, as we see an increase in autoimmune disease and symptoms in certain families. But clearly, the genetics are there and environmental factors, like food or gluten, can pull the trigger.
Now, this doesn’t mean you’ll definitely get an autoimmune condition if you eat gluten. What it means is that if you have a genetic predisposition, you’re putting yourself at a heightened risk if you eat gluten.
But it’s a little more complicated than that.
There’s also a big difference between naturally-occurring gluten and what we have now. And it all started with the commercialization of bread and the trucking of baked goods for long distances. This created the need for extended shelf life.
The manufacturers created a genetically-modified type of wheat that’s now widely used in food products. This GMO wheat allows for greater preservation of foodstuffs. However, it also has a much higher gluten content than what you find in naturally-occurring wheat.
And this isn’t just a slightly higher amount.
We’re talking five to ten times higher than what you’d find in natural wheat. That’s a huge increase in exposure to gluten than what would have naturally occurred in regular wheat bread that isn’t genetically modified.
And therein lies the problem.
When you eat food made using this GMO wheat, you’re eating far more gluten than you should.
And that means you’re at much greater risk, just as Mikhaila found out.
So, what can you do about it?
These are the four tips that will help you to reduce the amount of gluten in your diet.
Tip #1 – Identify and Eat Gluten-Free Grains
There’s a myth floating around that all grains contain gluten. But that’s not the case at all.
As mentioned, the big problem is that many of the grains we eat now are genetically-modified. This means that they contain far more gluten than we should eat.
Unfortunately, it’s now very difficult to find naturally-occurring wheat.
But the good news is, you have grain alternatives. The following are the gluten-free grains that you can incorporate into your new diet:
Buckwheat is particularly useful because you can use it when baking to achieve a similar result to wheat.
You also have to be wary of the oats that you buy. While oats don’t contain gluten, they often get processed alongside foods that do. This can result in exposure that introduces gluten to the oats that are not specifically labeled as being gluten-free.
Tip #2 – Look for Gluten-Free Certification on Food Labels
As mentioned, many foods that would normally be gluten-free get processed with those that aren’t. This means that you can’t make any assumptions about the food you’re buying. It’s possible they’ll contain trace amounts of gluten even when they shouldn’t.
That’s why it’s worth looking for gluten-free certification.
In the United States, the FDA handles this certification. A product can only claim to be gluten-free if it has less than 20 parts per million (ppm). But there are also other organizations that have more stringent rules. One of them being the Gluten Intolerance Group, which asks for less than 10 ppm before a product can be certified as gluten-free.
These certifications give you more confidence in your food, as you can see the item has undergone a testing process.
Tip #3 – Be Wary of Hidden Gluten
Many foods that you would assume wouldn’t may, in fact, contain gluten. Examples include:
Many creamy soups
Many deep-fried items
In some cases, manufacturers use gluten to give the food a certain quality. In others, cross-contamination is again to blame. But the point, again, is that you can’t make assumptions. A seemingly innocuous foodstuff may contain gluten because it was added during processing.
Tip #4 – Eat Fresh
This tip brings us back to the ideas that Mikhaila has. She eats a meat-only diet, with the important point being that she eats fresh meat. Processed meats can contain gluten, which makes some of them unsuitable for a gluten-free diet.
Of course, going the meat-only route isn’t recommended. But sticking with this idea of eating fresh certainly is. Extend it as well to any fruits and vegetables that you add to your diet. In fact, eating tons of vegetables and fruits of all different colors is best.
As a general rule of thumb, keep in mind that the food probably isn’t good for a gluten-free diet if it’s undergone processing.
Will Going Gluten-Free Work for You?
Going gluten-free could help you to confront the autoimmune conditions that you’re struggling with.
However, it’s not a guaranteed cure-all.
Every person has their own individual dietary needs that relate to their bodies. And before making any choices related to food, you need to find out what your body’s data tells you.
That’s where we come in.
We work closely with our clients to dig into the data of their bodies. This allows us to get to the root causes of their autoimmune conditions. We then help clients create food maps and use other techniques that help them overcome their specific circumstances.
In fact, we use our own unique process called Foodmapping that uses data to precisely identify the foods you can and can’t eat, making this process simple with quick results.
Would you like to find out more about how we can help you with food, hormones, and autoimmune conditions? Start with any of the following:
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