Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in all grains, in which they all have a different type and concentration of gluten. Did you know there is no such thing as gluten free oats? When you see a package of oats labeled gluten free, that just means the oats have not come in contact with the "traditional" glutens found in wheat, barley, and rye. Oats in and of themselves contain gluten - avenin. Many people who go "traditional" gluten free may claim they feel more energized consuming a bowl of "gluten free" oatmeal for breakfast, but what is most alarming is gluten can work as a silent killer for those with gluten sensitivity. Evidence shows that the glutens found in rice and corn, along with other grains, creates the same type of inflammatory reaction as wheat. While people may feel better initially, damage is still being done to their intestines. Therefore, these people will go on to develop several additional autoimmune diseases in their lifetime. Sadly, their doctors will not link their health issues back to their diet.
Aside from the gluten found in grains, in general they are not healthy. Historical records reveal that when gluten became a staple in the human diet, chronic diseases followed; ranging from cancer, heart disease, diabetes, bone disease, etc. Many people do not realize the seeds are sprayed with fungicides, insecticides, and pesticides and we wonder where all our unexplainable symptoms, diseases, and cancers stem from. In addition, the chemicals within the grain prevent minerals in our body from being properly absorbed. Think it is time we go back to our roots and question all the marketing buzz around so called "healthy" grain based foods.
Unfortunately the government is still pushing grains as a stable in the American diet. When Michelle Obama became the First Lady, one of her first initiatives was to fight childhood obesity. She had the right intention of reevaluating the food pyramid and developing MyPlate to help Americans with portion control, however it is flawed for two reasons: 1) it still recommends up to 9 servings per day of grains, with 50% coming from whole grain sources and 2) it is influenced by the United States Food Agriculture (USDA) who is looking to increase the sales of diary, meat, and grain based products.
But lets not forget if you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity MyPlate recommendations is irrelevant. To be "true gluten free" means to be grain free. I know this must be hard to hear, especially if you are preparing stir fry for dinner tonight and you just want a side of rice. Not to worry! There is one alternative for "gluten free" grains. While jasmine rice, brown rice, etc. are detrimental for those with gluten sensitivity, wild rice is acceptable on a true gluten free diet. Wild rice is a grass, not a grain.
Just remember to be patient and creative. Instead of focusing on foods that large companies have bombarded us with our whole lives, experiment and think of the endless new wholesome, pure, and nutrient dense dishes you might have otherwise never tried. But YAYY for wild rice. Check out Goose Valley Organic Wild Rice.