There are definitely some of you reading this that need to maintain a gluten free diet because of celiac disease or other intestinal health issues that have been diagnosed.
However, there are many who believe that swapping their wholegrain bread for gluten free products is going to be the healthier option or to lose weight. Unfortunately this is not always the case, as a very valuable source of nutrients including B-vitamins is removed from the diet. If there is no official diagnosis of gluten intolerance or celiac disease, you may be wasting a great deal of money on a product that contains far unhealthier ingredients.
I am not an advocate of giving up any particular food group, including whole grains, especially for growing children and young adults. For those of us who are no longer growing (except perhaps sideways), whole grains should still play a small to moderate role in our diet. This is also dependent on our activity levels and this food group provides us with energy. If you are a runner or involved in any sport or intensive activity for more than an hour a day, you will need to included more whole grains in your diet.
Here are two articles that expands on the issue, and it is worth reading the entire article to learn more about gluten and its role in our health. It is also important to note that the Gluten Free industry is worth approximately 8 billion dollars a year in the USA and even in Ireland consumers are spending 66million Euros per annum.
An extract from How to eat Gluten again without your body and mind going nuts by Anna Medaris Miller of health.USnews.com
For a little over a year, Jackie Diette didn’t eat gluten. In fact, the 30-year-old fashion director in New York City ate little more than vegetables, meats and healthy fats. “From [my health care team’s] expertise combined with my own research about the effects of food containing gluten, I was confident that removing it from my diet would help me obtain my weight loss goals,” she says.
She was right, and lost about 130 pounds. But now that Diette’s focus is weight maintenance, she realizes that some of the credit given to gluten-free eating – peddled as everything from a weight-loss method to a heart disease prevention strategy to a treatment for depression – might be misaligned. “My experience taught me that gluten itself isn’t necessarily the enemy,” says Diette, whose weight has remained stable for about five months with a healthy diet that includes some carbohydrates and gluten.
You can read the rest of the article here: http://health.usnews.com/wellness/food/articles/2017-08-14/how-to-eat-gluten-again-without-your-body-or-mind-going-nuts?
Here is another article from an Irish Professor of medicine on the subject in the Irish Times.
Eighty per cent of people who follow a gluten-free diet are not diagnosed coeliacs
People in Ireland are wasting tens of millions of euro each year on high-priced gluten-free products that do little or nothing to improve their health, a doctor has said.
Irish residents increased their spend on gluten-free food by €25 million over the past 12 months, and one in five consumers now regularly buys such products, despite the fact only 1 per cent of the population have coeliac disease, according to Bord Bia research published on Wednesday.
The research described gluten-free food as mainstream and said the market was worth about €66 million, a jump of 36 per cent in just one year.
Almost 80 per cent of those who told Bord Bia researchers they follow a gluten-free diet are not diagnosed as coeliac, while 38 per cent do not have any intolerance to wheat at all. They have adopted a gluten-free diet because they believe it to be a healthier lifestyle choice.
“We are all susceptible to the power of mass marketing and ultimately that is what this is, it is just a fad,” said Prof Fergus Shanahan, chair of the department of medicine at University College Cork. “I know people might say who is this arrogant doctor to dismiss a gluten-free diet as a fad, but for the vast majority of people, that is exactly what it is.”
These are just two opinions on the issue. In my twenty years as a nutritional therapist I have found that intestinal issues are caused by many other dietary additives than gluten including excess sugar and lack of a balanced intake of fresh vegetables and fruit. There are also causes for intestinal health issues including an overgrowth of Candida which leads to leaky gut syndrome, and overuse of certain medications.
I have also found that it is more often the ingredients that are added to wholegrains that cause a problem such as non-butter spreads, jams and processed sauces.
Following a cook from scratch approach to preparing natural, fresh produce usually results in an improvement in intestinal health and also weight and other health issues.
It is important that if you have a persistent intestinal problem that you seek a professional diagnosis rather than assume that you have a gluten intolerance. In around 80% of us this is not the case.
Thanks for dropping and as always your feedback is welcome.. Sally.