Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. ~Hippocrates

Archive for the ‘gluten’ Category

Another Clarification About Gluten


There is a lot of misinformation about gluten out there. So I am going to reiterate from prior posts, the facts and fallacies of the gluten free diet.

This trend, which many people believe is better for them, is not necessarily intended for everyone. Those who don’t necessarily need it may use it to lose weight. Weight loss occurs because going gluten free means consuming fewer carbs. But one can restrict simple carbs without going gluten free, while preserving healthy carb choices such as whole grain breads and cereals.

Gluten is a protein. Generally speaking, protein is good for us. It builds muscle, repairs tissue, it helps you lose weight. Hair and nails are mostly protein. Your body uses protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. It is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. So why limit proteins unless you really have to?

Also, commercial gluten free foods contain more sugar, fat and salt, less fiber (an important part of good diet and gut health) than regular foods.

Of course, if you have celiac disease, gluten can harm your digestive tract, and should be avoided. A biopsy of your intestine is required to confirm this diagnosis. Some people have a gluten sensitivity that a doctor can also confirm.

Before going gluten free, confirm the proper diagnosis so you don’t needlessly eliminate any heathy elements of your diet, or introduce more expensive, less healthy options.

Here is an article from Silver Sneakers, with more information.

https://www.silversneakers.com/blog/qa-what-is-gluten-and-should-you-avoid-it/?utm_campaign=SilverSneakers%20-%20Newsletter%20Yes&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=64521404&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–ycjIUxGdhJxJvPRfysLZyjO0A9l9TdDWA6ck3bWM3JJEf1fJ6FyTQTHzoSokd7xrvnTaWSmBeuZPLwWkKDtYqPel94A&_hsmi=64521853

Gluten, Gluten, Gluten


Gluten is the new “Atkins,” or “Paleo.” Seems that each year brings a new wave of diets, all promising better health, more radiance and weight loss. You’d think that by now, especially for those who have tried each one, only to discover it was either unsustainable or ineffective – of even harmful, we would collectively learn that there is no magic formula, shortcut or substitute for healthy eating and exercise.

But alas, an optimistic and perhaps lazy society we are. Most people prefer to take pills in lieu of changing their behaviors. It has been shown that those taking statins for cholesterol actually have unhealthier food choices since they feel their meds will “take care of” the problem. Diabetics relying on insulin, Metformin and the like, continue to skip meals, overindulge in or not balance their carbs, and don’t exercise – all strategies that could actually eliminate the need for these drugs in many.

The food and drug industries are partly to blame, but when push comes to shove, we must make our own choices. But I digress. This post is about gluten – the totally misunderstood element in our diets. In a quick nutshell, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale.  It is also used in many, many commercial products, and not necessarily labeled in a way the average person can identify it, making it a problem for those with Celiac Disease – a true gluten allergy or autoimmune disease, in which an affected person is unable to process gluten. This affects many systems in the body, resulting in the inability to absorb nutrients, causing nutritional deficiencies. Then there is a condition termed “gluten sensitivity” or “intolerance,” for which there is no current consensus of definition. Finally, some are allergic to wheat – of which gluten is a part.

Here are a few links to the topic of gluten: definition, where it is found and current thinking about sensitivity. In the end, the message is that no one should follow a diet based on what their friends are doing or saying. If it involves eliminating healthy components of a diet, it is probably not wise unless there is a medical necessity for it. Do your research and consult with nutrition professionals before starting any diet.

Enjoy the links. To warm you up, the first is Jimmy Kimmel’s reporter asking people who follow a gluten free diet, to explain what gluten is. It about sums up the issue!

Jimmy Kimmel Show: 

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/jimmy-kimmel-gluten-free-diet-video?cm_mmc=Fox_Health-_-3_Signs_You_Should_Get_Tested_for_Gluten_Sensitivity_or_Celiac_Disease-_-Article-_-Watch_People_Who_Say_they_Eat_a_Gluten-Free_Diet_Try_to_Explain_What_Gluten_Is

A Grain of Truth to Gluten Intolerance

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/a-grain-of-truth-to-gluten-intolerance-20140527-zrpb3.html

Sources of Gluten:

http://celiac.org/live-gluten-free/gluten-free-diet/sources-of-gluten/

HuffPost: 7 Places You ever Knew Contained Gluten

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/19/surprising-foods-with-gluten_n_3769463.html

Truth About Gluten

http://flcourier.com/2014/05/01/the-truth-about-gluten/

People with gluten sensitivity who have not had tests

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/07/us-celiac-gluten-sensitivity-idUSKBN0DN1HU20140507

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