I confess to virtual total ignorance about the gluten-free eating going on. I only know that it is very trendy. Tufts did a nice job here on explaining it and I thought I would pass it on to you.
The gluten-free foods market has exploded in the past decade. It is important for people following or considering a gluten-free diet to know the facts.
Gluten Sensitivities: Gluten refers to a family of proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, and triticale. Gluten proteins give dough its elasticity. For the approximately one percent of the population with celiac disease (a genetically-based autoimmune reaction to gluten) following a gluten-free diet is essential to health.
Data suggest that approximately ten percent of people feel they have sensitivity to wheat, even though they do not have celiac disease. “There is a condition known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS),” says John Leung, MD, an allergist, gastroenterologist, and director of the Center for Food Related Diseases at Tufts Medical Center. “Patients present with no evidence of celiac disease in blood tests or biopsies, but they report their gastrointestinal symptoms improve with avoidance of gluten.” However, a large review of studies surprisingly found that most people who follow a gluten-free diet for self-diagnosed NCGS do not actually develop any symptoms after eating gluten. “A recent study published in the journal Gastroenterology provides evidence that many people who think they have gluten sensitivity may actually be reacting to fructans, short-chain carbohydrates found in wheat, onions, and a number of other plant foods,” says Leung. Continue reading
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
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.
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Under normal circumstances, it’s necessary for individuals with a gluten sensitivity to completely eliminate the troublesome offender from their diet. However, two small studies involving sourdough bread give hope to the millions who believe they need to swear off gluten containing grains forever.
Our Better Health
Wednesday, November 06, 2013 Carolanne Wright
(NaturalNews) Jack Bezian of Bezian’s Bakery in Santa Monica, California, has an eye-catching sign behind his loaves of bread, stating: “Roman soldiers had only sourdough bread to get protein.” But this is only part of the story. For those who suffer from gluten intolerance or celiac disease, Jack’s naturally fermented bread is surprisingly easy to digest. Interestingly, several studies have also found true sourdough to be well tolerated by individuals sensitive to gluten.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by consuming the protein in wheat, barley and rye – otherwise known as gluten. If a celiac ingests this protein, the immune system mistakenly attacks the villi in the small intestine, causing a cascade of health issues, including leaky gut syndrome, malnutrition, lactose intolerance, osteoporosis, neurological disorders and cancer.
Under normal circumstances, it’s necessary for individuals with a gluten sensitivity to completely…
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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.
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.