Category Archives: gluten-free diet

Gluten-free diet may increase risk of arsenic, mercury exposure

I’m sure you have encountered friends and acquaintances who are going ‘gluten-free.’ I have observed, I don’t think imagined, a certain smugness about the announcement. Like they have elevated themselves above the masses. Well, It turns out maybe not.

People who eat a gluten-free diet may be at risk for increased exposure to arsenic and mercury – toxic metals that can lead to cardiovascular disease, cancer and neurological effects, according to a report in the journal Epidemiology.

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Gluten-free diets have become popular in the U.S., although less than 1 percent of Americans have been diagnosed with celiac disease – an out-of-control immune response to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

A gluten-free diet is recommended for people with celiac disease, but others often say they prefer eating gluten-free because it reduces inflammation – a claim that has not been scientifically proven. In 2015, one-quarter of Americans reported eating gluten-free, a 67 percent increase from 2013.

Gluten-free products often contain rice flour as a substitute for wheat. Rice is known to bioaccumulate certain toxic metals, including arsenic and mercury from fertilizers, soil, or water, but little is known about the health effects of diets high in rice content. (my emphasis)

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Is A Gluten-free Diet Really Good for Your Health?

According to a survey from market research company NPD Group, almost 30 percent of adults in the US claim to be reducing their gluten intake or cutting the protein out completely – a proportion that is much higher than the number of people who have celiac disease.

But there seems to be limited evidence that – outside of celiac disease – gluten is bad for our health. A 2011 study, conducted by Peter Gibson and colleagues from Monash University in Australia, claimed that NCGS may be a legitimate disorder, after finding participants that consumed gluten experienced increased bloating and fatigue.

Gluten and gluten free are hot topics these days. Check out the following posts if you want to learn more:

Gluten-free Food – Against the Grain
Sensitive to gluten? Traditional sourdough offers a unique solution to bread woes
Gluten-Free’ Now Means What It Says
Should You Try a Gluten-Free Diet?
Gluten Free Diets Don’t Equal Weight Loss Plans

Tony

Cooking with Kathy Man

Gwyneth Paltrow, Ryan Gosling and Jenny McCarthy are just some of the celebrities who have adopted a gluten-free diet – not necessarily because they have a gluten intolerance, but because they deem the diet to be healthier. As such, the diet seems to have become the latest “trend.” It is estimated that around 1.6 million people in the US follow a gluten-free diet without having been diagnosed with celiac disease – a severe gluten intolerance. But does this diet really benefit our health?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a combination of wheat and rye). It acts as a “glue” in foods such as cereal, bread and pasta, helping them hold their shape. Gluten can also be found in some cosmetic products, such as lip balm, and it is even present in that nasty tasting glue on the back of stamps and envelopes.

In some…

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How Good is KIND Granola?

I call this granola, but the package  doesn’t say ‘granola‘, it says Clusters. Of course, everyone who eats granola knows it comes in clusters. So, I am sticking with granola.

There are a number of different flavors, including Oats and Honey, Peanut Butter and Whole Grain, Dark Chocolate and Cranberry and Maple Walnut, to name a few. Otherwise, this looks just like granola only it tastes a whole lot better. Since I don’t like processed foods, I especially liked the quote on the package front, “Ingredients you can see and pronounce.”

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I have been a granola fan for over 20 years and have written up several for the blog. I have some every day as a first course for lunch, usually with fresh blueberries or strawberries and a tablespoon of flax seed on top, in a bowl with milk. You can read my write up of Paleo Granola here.

Here are some of the elements that make KIND clusters different from regular granola. They are all whole grains which are sweet and crispy. They taste so good I often eat them right out of the package.

Here is some info straight from the package of the Oat and Honey Clusters:

100% Whole Grains, 17 g Amaranth, Quinoa, Oats, Millet & Buckwheat
Gluten Free
3 grams fiber
All Natural
Low Glycemic
No refined grains
NON – GMO
No trans fats
Cholesterol free
Very low sodium

Here is the nutritional info for the Oat and Honey Clusters:
One serving = 29 grams, or one ounce. By volume about 1/3 cup
Calories 130
Total fat 4 grams
Saturated far 1.5 grams
No Cholesterol
Sodium 20 mg
Carbohyrates 21 grams
Fiber 3 grams
Protein 3 grams

I buy these online from Amazon. If you like them and want to get them regularly, you can subscribe and get a box of three sent out as often as you like with no shipping charges.

There is also a line of KIND energy bars which I haven’t tried yet.

Dare I say, “Be KIND to yourself and try some.”

Tony

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Should You Try a Gluten-Free Diet?

A popular diet myth is that everyone can benefit from a gluten-free diet. It can give you more energy and is anti-inflammatory. Sales of gluten-free products increased 16 percent in 2010.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition in which the body can’t digest gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Less than two percent of the population suffers from celiac disease. So, the odds are that you don’t. Nonetheless, there are hundreds of Gluten-Free products.
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The Mayo Clinic says, “A gluten-free diet is used to treat celiac disease. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease. Eating a gluten-free diet helps people with celiac disease control their signs and symptoms and prevent complications.”

If you don’t have a medical reason for following a gluten-free diet, there is no benefit, according to Erin McCarthy, MS, RD, LDN at theCenter for Lifestyle Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

The Mayo Clinic also pointed out, “People who follow a gluten-free diet may have low levels of certain vitamins and nutrients in their diets. Many grains are enriched with vitamins. Avoiding grains with a gluten-free diet may mean eating fewer of these enriched products.

So, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. A gluten-free diet is very difficult to adhere to and you will likely get no direct benefit from it for your troubles.

Tony

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Filed under diet, gluten-free diet, Mayo Clinic, Weight