Is Gluten-Free the New Fad?

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First off, grrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!  I really don’t like that everyone is thinking they need to go on a gluten-free diet. This diet is for those that cannot tolerate gluten (protein found in wheat, rye, barley and sometimes oats due to cross-contamination) – just like if you could not tolerate lactose you would go on a lactose-free diet.  It is a treatment for those with celiac symptoms not something anyone and everyone would try for better health.

What is Celiac Disease?  From www.celiac.org

Celiac Disease (CD) is a lifelong, digestive disorder affecting children and adults. When people with CD eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed. Even small amounts of gluten in foods can affect those with CD and cause health problems. Damage can occur to the small bowel even when there are no symptoms present.
Gluten is the common name for the proteins in specific grains that are harmful to persons with celiac disease. These proteins are found in ALL forms of wheat (including durum, semolina, spelt, kamut, einkorn and faro) and related grains rye, barley and triticale and MUST be eliminated.

The Celiac Foundation strongly recommends that you get correctly diagnosed with Celiac Disease by a qualified physician before modifying your diet! Do not self-diagnose. Talk to your healthcare provider about Celiac blood tests that are available for preliminary diagnosis. In order to get accurate test results, it is important that you are following a daily diet that contains gluten.

 

NOT A WEIGHT LOSS CURE!

I have heard chiropractors telling their patients they need to go on a gluten-free diet in order to lose wait!    Are you kidding me, you will probably GAIN weight because if you eat gluten-free items such as cookies, breads, donuts, etc. they actually have MORE calories.  This is almost too funny and reminds me of the scene from Mean Girls where Lindsay Lohan gives Rachel McAdams these high calorie bars so she can lose her five pounds – she actually gains weight and can’t fit into her clothes!  Another problem if people do follow this diet and they do not have celiac symptoms -it is really difficult to obtain adequate fiber and other nutrients when you cut out these foods.

 

This disease’s awareness is going crazy from Elizabeth Hasselbeck to Jenny McCarthy exposure.  Now Hasselbeck does have celiac disease but in McCarthy’s case she is using it to treat her son’s autism.  The studies on autism and gluten-free and casein-free diet are still out but I guess if I was in her position I would do anything in my power to help the situation.  The science behind it is really interesting and can see the link but always nice for more long-term studies.

 

Just remember when you see the words gluten-free on a package, don’t think YOU have to buy everything that is gluten-free.   It is a helpful tool for many celiac patients to follow.  The disease has been misdiagnosed for years and many people are finally feeling better through this diet.  

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