Wheat-free vs gluten-free
Wheat isn't allowed on the Fast Metabolism Diet because it's been bred to the point that it's nearly indestructible -- which also means it’s practically impossible to digest. Your body makes its best effort at deconstructing anything you put in your mouth, though, so eating wheat can cause a lot of unpleasant side effects like bloating, an irritated intestinal tract, gas, and fatigue.
Wheat-free doesn't always equal gluten-free. Certain grains that are allowed on The Fast Metabolism Diet do contain gluten: sprouted grains, spelt, barley, Kamut, and triticale. Conventional oatmeal usually includes at least a little bit of gluten too, simply because it's processed in the same facility as other grains that contain gluten.
Gluten itself isn’t always a problem, though some people are sensitive to it, and others, those who have celiac disease, cannot consume gluten at all. But for most others, the gluten present in sprouted grains, barley, and spelt causes no ill effects. If you fall into the sensitive or celiac groups, it’s easy to do The Fast Metabolism Diet gluten-free – just use whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and wild rice.
Who should go gluten-free?
If you have celiac disease, like my son, it is critical for your health. Gluten can cause lasting damage to your small intestine, so going gluten-free is the only way to avoid unpleasant symptoms like intestinal distress, poor nutrient absorption, depression, and fatigue. But even if you don't have celiac disease, your body may still react to non-gluten components in wheat. So if you feel better when you eat gluten-free, go for it!
Gluten-free on The FMD
Going gluten-free on The Fast Metabolism Diet is actually pretty easy since you've already cut out the primary source of gluten in your diet (wheat). All you have to do is replace the other gluten-containing grains mentioned above with these gluten-free options:
- Brown or wild rice