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Dr. Oz: Enemy Of Gluten Free Efforts


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#16 celiac-mommy

 
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Posted 25 March 2011 - 08:22 AM

Not related to the Celiac Disease show, and I never watch his show, however a friend of mine, Dr. James Beckerman taped a show with Oz last week. It's going to be on today. I'm interested to watch now and see what misinformation I can find... :huh:
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Daughter diagnosed 1/06 bloodwork and biopsy
-gluten-free since 1/06

Son tested negative-bloodwork (8/07), intestinal issues prompted biospy (3/08), results negative, but very positive dietary response, Dr. diagnosed Celiac disease (3/8)


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#17 Karla01

 
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Posted 25 March 2011 - 01:55 PM

I watched his show today. Parts were interesting and parts just urked me to no end! They had a gluten free 'expert' on there and he showed some nice healthy alternative meals for gluten free and mentioned some of the symptoms of gluten intolerance. Then they had a nutritionist on who basically showed all the poorest examples of gluten-free foods with the highest calories and lowest nutritional content and then touted the benefits of 'whole grain' in the diet but said NOTHING about non gluten containing whole grains, of which there are many. the gluten-free expert did mention that pre-packaged gluten-free foods just like any heavily processed food is a 'frankenfood' and should be avoided. So I was both interested and ticked off by the episode. The nutritionist basically said that anyone who is not definitely gluten intolerant should NOT eat a gluten free diet. She basically said it will mess with your blood sugar and make you fat. What did everyone else think?

I was very disappointed. He actually depressed me, I was diagnosed in August and have gained weight, can't seem to lose it. After watching his show I was very discouraged. He made it sound like all gluten free food is fattening and not good for you. I had to turn the video off. He made gluten free seem awful.
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#18 cap6

 
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Posted 26 March 2011 - 02:03 PM

Not one word was said about the dangers of cross-contamination for the Celiac. (or was I out of the room) Gluten free diet as a "fad" is 100% different from being Celiac!
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#19 IrishHeart

 
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Posted 26 March 2011 - 03:34 PM

I was at PT for the crippling pain I have as a result of this disease and the Dr. Oz show came on with this gluten-free foods segment and this woman was basically trashing gluten-free breads and crackers for being high in calories. So what? Some of us need to put weight on, lady! I wanted to jump off the table (if I could, with these weak, malnourished legs) and smash the TV...that is how irritating I found the whole discussion.

If you are going to present information that is helpful, it needs to be 100% accurate.

How your healing gut absorbs nutrients if the issue. How your metabolism works is the issue. How you determine the balance of whole foods and supplement with gluten-free foods is the key.

Some gluten-free products are essential for our survival. Granted, one needs to pick and choose the best ones. But, not all of them are "bad".

And just for the record....I was a FAT celiac for years until I became very ill and lost 90+ lbs. rapidly.

I know someone who went gluten-free with her celiac son and she lost over 50 lbs. and has never felt better!! If someone adopts a gluten-free lifestyle and feels better (using gluten-free products) what difference does it make??!!

There needs to be a better understanding of gluten intolerance. Many people are ill and in pain and they do not know why.

OY! :D I could go on and on, but I won't....I'll get off my soapbox now....sigh....
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#20 docdeb

 
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Posted 26 March 2011 - 06:00 PM

I was very frustrated by the Dr Oz show and as a pediatrian and a newly diagnosed celiac (6mo or so), I wanted to make sure he had some feedback. I tried to respond directly to their show but couldn't figure out how to get through. Any thoughts on educating Dr. Oz?
BTW- this webiste has helped me so much in the last 6 months, so thanks to you all! This topic made me finally register.
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#21 chasbari

 
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Posted 26 March 2011 - 07:24 PM

I was very frustrated by the Dr Oz show and as a pediatrian and a newly diagnosed celiac (6mo or so), I wanted to make sure he had some feedback. I tried to respond directly to their show but couldn't figure out how to get through. Any thoughts on educating Dr. Oz?
BTW- this webiste has helped me so much in the last 6 months, so thanks to you all! This topic made me finally register.


Glad you are here!
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#22 T.H.

 
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Posted 26 March 2011 - 10:45 PM

Very disappointing way of dealing with the subject, I must admit. :( I don't really ever watch Dr. Oz, but recommending avoiding the diet is the worst of his advice, in my opinion. It would have been so easy to give a run down of some of the pitfalls of eating gluten free strictly for weight loss, and give suggestions for how to eat a healthy diet that is gluten free without a lot of the worst processed foods.

And we Celiacs and gluten intolerant are so under-diagnosed that just his saying that has likely cost some people a possible cure that they might have tried on their own. So, so upsetting.


...however, that said...

I don't completely disagree on his coming down on gluten-free products. There are some definite negatives that are pretty common to many gluten-free food. Although not exactly for the reasons he said, IMO. There is a lot of gluten free 'junk' food out there, without even added vitamin fortification to make it slightly better. It's often more calories. It's often more sugar. It's often the same ingredients over and over and over again. This can't be good for us.

And I think it's fine to say that we need to look at these types of products as something to eat in moderation, or as a treat, but so many Celiacs don't know that. Their doctors don't tell them that the foods aren't the same, because they have no clue. Often the celiacs aren't going to a nutritionist who might inform them about the issue - some can't afford it, and some don't even get the recommendation. They don't even know that it's recommended at all. Far too many doctors leave their Celiac patients hanging out to dry, and unless they have lots of time or motivation - which many don't - then they have no clue what stuff is in the gluten-free food supply that can do them harm.

Most of the time, it doesn't even occur to people to check for different levels of fats or sugar and what not. I mean, how many of us read the gluten labels with the careful eye we read the gluten free ones, after all? And if we didn't, then we aren't aware of the change, and then we're not eating healthy, but think that we are. We think we just need to avoid gluten and everything will be the same as it was, and that's not the case at all.

Personally, I'm so frustrated with the Gluten Free industry that I'm a little jaded at this point. I'm an oat sensitive Celiac - which means that most of the gluten-free stuff in the USA isn't all that safe for me. Gluten tests don't test for oats. gluten-free oats can be used and processed with any gluten-free grain and it's considered safe. And having to learn about this sort of thing has really opened my eyes to how unsafe it is to be ignorant about our gluten-free products.

We don't get enough vitamins from them. We DO get low levels of gluten from them. With the 'in moderation' model, that's okay for most people. But again - most people don't have a clue. They don't even know enough to know what they don't know. They don't realize there is anything else TO learn. And IMHO, that's resulting in people not healing, or starting to sicken again. No, I have no proof, no studies, nada. But I've watched my father eat these gluten-free foods in a little more than moderation for 9 years, and he's getting sick again. I'm meeting other Celiacs in my local group who have been eating more and more of the gluten-free foods now that they're available...and some of them are starting to get sick again.

I wish that Dr. Oz had approached this as an informational opportunity rather than what reads more like shock news, where they only focus on the worst outcome. He could have helped people who ARE Celiacs, or people who are trying to eat a healthy gluten free diet, instead of just scaring them. He could have shared information on how to eat safely, eat in moderation, what to look for on labels for health information and nutrient values - that would have been great.

I really wish he had.


Just as a quick note re: the idea of not finding an overweight Celiac, though? Have to disagree there. My father and brother both lost weight on the diet for a few weeks, but they are both overweight now, by about 30-50 pounds, and they both eat a lot of the gluten free processed foods. I have met quite a few overweight Celiacs. It's actually not uncommon, at least in my area. And I really do think that a lack of knowledge on the gluten free products is a part of the problem. Again, Dr. Oz could have given some of these folks a helping hand instead of a closed door.
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T.H.

Gluten free since August 10, 2009.
21 years with undiagnosed Celiac Disease

23 years with undiagnosed sulfite sensitivity

25 years with undiagnosed mast cell activation disorder (MCAD) 

 

Daughter: celiac and MCAD positive

Son: gluten intolerant
Father, brother: celiac positive


#23 eatmeat4good

 
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Posted 26 March 2011 - 11:53 PM

What kills me is that when I was at my sickest...bumping into walls, falling down, crying, depressed, anxiety, migraines,and muscles so weak I could hardly get out of bed except to try to go to yet another Dr. who thought I was a hypochondriac, in spite of the fact that I had several unhealing sores. That went on for 5 years....well, all I could really do was watch TV, so that was my only source for company or information. There are other people out there who are sick as I was and can't get outta bed and their Dr.'s don't listen...and this could have been their lightbulb moment..and their lifeline...if only he had tried. I was too sick to work and therefore too poor to have the internet, but I did watch TV and so do lots of sick undiagnosed people.

Can we get a Celiac commercial that would play over and over and over...just like their depression commercials...(I know I know it's drug companies) But really, Dr. Oz could have helped a lot of undiagnosed people. It is very sad.
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Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.
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#24 sb2178

 
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Posted 27 March 2011 - 11:32 AM

(My comments. You can click on the "contact us" at the bottom of the page to e-mail the show directly.)

Dr Oz,

I was somewhat horrified by your recent coverage of celiac disease/gluten sensitivity/gluten intolerance. While I realize it is a complex and understudied subject, there were blatant errors.

First, as any medical professional should know, celiac disease is AUTOIMMUNE. It's not an allergy. Even your average PCP knows this, as do many other health professionals.

Second, processed gluten-free products do often have lower levels of fiber and/or higher levels of refined flours and sugar. This is an issue that many companies are addressing and it is now possible to buy bakery products made primarily from whole grains like buckwheat, brown rice, and even sorghum. Other products may feature added sources of nutrients like ground flaxseeds, or gluten free oats. Van's, for example, makes a buckwheat waffle which is quite respectable nutritionally (for a frozen waffle, which is the issue). A truly healthy alternative would be my typical breakfast, hot cooked whole grain cereal with fruit, nuts, and sometimes maple syrup and soymilk.

Addressing the issue that processed gluten-free foods are not necessarily "healthier" was a good idea. However, by pushing whole wheat and gluten-containing foods on everyone who is not diagnosed with celiac disease, you neglected to include sufficient information on alternative whole grains and unprocessed gluten-free foods. It is entirely possible to eat gluten-free whole grains in the place of wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Cultures ranging from the Andes to East Africa and Asia have do so for millennia. Even areas of Europe were historically dependent on alternative grains like buckwheat or vegetables like potatoes.

A gluten free diet is, like any diet, as healthy as you choose to make it. It is quite easy to prepare your own food and eat generous amounts of fruits and vegetables with whole grains, beans, fish, nuts, eggs, and small amounts of meat and dairy (eaten). I do so most days, but I also like to eat black bean brownies once in a while, munch on the occasional bag of tortilla chips, and even snag some good dark chocolate. As long as these remain in the "treat" category, there is no reason to not consume them.

The statement that people with "gluten intolerance" can eat some wheat is especailly problematic. The most current research shows that there is a substantial "iceberg" of gluten-based disorders beneath the small number of biopsy-diagnosed patients with celiac disease. The broader category includes patients in many situation. For example, some of us have positive bloodwork for the antibodies but negative biopsies (me) and would likely go on to develop it in the future given further exposure to gluten. There was a paper out of Italy recently looking at a range of metabolic biomarkers in biopsy negative, biopsy positive, and controls. The patients with (-) biopsy but (+) antibodies matched of most of the biomarkers shown in the celiac patients, indicating that flattened villi are the LAST symptom. It's much like diagnosing cancer in stage 3 or 4.

In another recent paper, there appears to be a separate immune reaction to gluten outside of the celiac path. In this case, patients have different metabolic profiles and no villi damage but a clear set of symptoms and some positive biomarkers like antigliadins. There is no evidence to support the fact that they can or should eat small amounts of gluten.

Finally, being diagnosed for celiac disease can be very difficult in the US. My father, for example, should have been tested as a first-degree relative given my somewhat confusing but nonetheless significant diagnosis. However, his MD refused, based on a lack of classic celiac symptoms. This is one example among many. Sending a confusing message to your wide audience that eating gluten-free is a trend only, and that even those with gluten sensitivity can eat small amounts of gluten only makes it more challenging for those of us who must eat a gluten free diet to safely eat away from home. Personally, I spent six full months convincing my grandmother that I cannot eat ANY flour. She cannot flour the cake pan; I cannot eat butter that has had toast crumbs in it. Undermining the efforts of those with true gluten-based disorders is quite depressing for us.

I do become ill after exposures-- for example, last fall I ate two bites of fudge that actually had wheat flour it in and had severe steatorrhea for three days and lost 5 pounds (I only weight 110, so that was significant). I was diagnosed with non-celiac gluten sensitivity after mounting classic celiac disease symptoms combined with bloodwork and later genetic testing (anemia, weight loss, diahrrea, pain, fatigue, joint pain, vitamin D deficiency/low vitamin D with supplementation, fingernail abnormalities, bone density loss, and even unexplained bruising, nosebleeds, and fainting). It is very important that I maintain a gluten-free diet, and given the severity of my symptoms combined with bloodwork and genetics, I honestly believe that I was well on my way to developing full-blown celiac disease.

Please do not undermine the important and validity of the gluten-free diet for those who follow the diet for health issues. The celiac community and others who follow a gluten free diet to resolve serious health conditions would appreciate a follow-up show that clarifies these issues.

Thank you,
name, MS
e-mail
blog address
p.s. My apologies for not including lit citations, but I'm not on my home computer. I'd be happy to send them if you or your staff would like them.
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2/2010 Malabsorption becomes dramatically noticable
3/2010 Negative IgA EMA; negative IgA TTG
4/2010 Negative biopsy
5/2010 Elimination diet; symptoms begin to resolve on gluten-free diet round two (10 days)
5/2010 Diagnosed gluten sensitive based on weakly positive repeat IgA & IgG TTGs and dietary response; decline capsule endoscopy.

Now, what to do about my cookbook in progress? Make it gluten-free?

#25 norahsmommy

 
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Posted 27 March 2011 - 06:54 PM

I was very disappointed. He actually depressed me, I was diagnosed in August and have gained weight, can't seem to lose it. After watching his show I was very discouraged. He made it sound like all gluten free food is fattening and not good for you. I had to turn the video off. He made gluten free seem awful.

eating nothing but the pre-packaged gluten-free foods can and probably will make you gain weight. But eating alot of packaged foods gluten free or otherwise is likely to make you fat! Its not gluten-free foods doing it, its eating too much of the wrong things. We learned this fast and have transitioned to cooking with ALOT more veggies and desserts usually are fresh or frozen fruit with home made whipped cream. We are eating much more healthfully now than we ever were while eating gluten, because then we relied heavily on pasta and packaged foods. Now we are re-learning how to cook and portion sizes. We don't eat out at all anymore and have turned our attention to fitness. So I am sort of glad we had to make this change. It will end up being a good thing.
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#26 Juliebove

 
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Posted 27 March 2011 - 09:47 PM

What a bunch of hooey! My friend's dad is not only a celiac but a diabetic. So he has to watch his carb intake as well. One is certainly able to eat a gluten free diet and not take in excess calories.

I know plenty of diabetics who eat low carb to really low carb diets. They eat things like meat, fish, eggs, cheese and low carb vegetables. Their diet is pretty much gluten free simply by the nature of what they are eating. No way would they eat grains of any kind!

I don't know a lot about Dr. Oz. I don't think I want to know. What I do know doesn't impress me in the least.
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#27 T.H.

 
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Posted 28 March 2011 - 02:51 AM

... indicating that flattened villi are the LAST symptom. It's much like diagnosing cancer in stage 3 or 4.


That is a great analogy for this sucker. I think I may have to borrow this in talking with my mother-in-law about our son and why we keep him gluten free. :)
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T.H.

Gluten free since August 10, 2009.
21 years with undiagnosed Celiac Disease

23 years with undiagnosed sulfite sensitivity

25 years with undiagnosed mast cell activation disorder (MCAD) 

 

Daughter: celiac and MCAD positive

Son: gluten intolerant
Father, brother: celiac positive


#28 chasbari

 
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Posted 28 March 2011 - 05:33 AM

(My comments. You can click on the "contact us" at the bottom of the page to e-mail the show directly.)

Dr Oz,

I was somewhat horrified by your recent coverage of celiac disease/gluten sensitivity/gluten intolerance. While I realize it is a complex and understudied subject, there were blatant errors.

First, as any medical professional should know, celiac disease is AUTOIMMUNE. It's not an allergy. Even your average PCP knows this, as do many other health professionals.

Second, processed gluten-free products do often have lower levels of fiber and/or higher levels of refined flours and sugar. This is an issue that many companies are addressing and it is now possible to buy bakery products made primarily from whole grains like buckwheat, brown rice, and even sorghum. Other products may feature added sources of nutrients like ground flaxseeds, or gluten free oats. Van's, for example, makes a buckwheat waffle which is quite respectable nutritionally (for a frozen waffle, which is the issue). A truly healthy alternative would be my typical breakfast, hot cooked whole grain cereal with fruit, nuts, and sometimes maple syrup and soymilk.

Addressing the issue that processed gluten-free foods are not necessarily "healthier" was a good idea. However, by pushing whole wheat and gluten-containing foods on everyone who is not diagnosed with celiac disease, you neglected to include sufficient information on alternative whole grains and unprocessed gluten-free foods. It is entirely possible to eat gluten-free whole grains in the place of wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Cultures ranging from the Andes to East Africa and Asia have do so for millennia. Even areas of Europe were historically dependent on alternative grains like buckwheat or vegetables like potatoes.

A gluten free diet is, like any diet, as healthy as you choose to make it. It is quite easy to prepare your own food and eat generous amounts of fruits and vegetables with whole grains, beans, fish, nuts, eggs, and small amounts of meat and dairy (eaten). I do so most days, but I also like to eat black bean brownies once in a while, munch on the occasional bag of tortilla chips, and even snag some good dark chocolate. As long as these remain in the "treat" category, there is no reason to not consume them.

The statement that people with "gluten intolerance" can eat some wheat is especailly problematic. The most current research shows that there is a substantial "iceberg" of gluten-based disorders beneath the small number of biopsy-diagnosed patients with celiac disease. The broader category includes patients in many situation. For example, some of us have positive bloodwork for the antibodies but negative biopsies (me) and would likely go on to develop it in the future given further exposure to gluten. There was a paper out of Italy recently looking at a range of metabolic biomarkers in biopsy negative, biopsy positive, and controls. The patients with (-) biopsy but (+) antibodies matched of most of the biomarkers shown in the celiac patients, indicating that flattened villi are the LAST symptom. It's much like diagnosing cancer in stage 3 or 4.

In another recent paper, there appears to be a separate immune reaction to gluten outside of the celiac path. In this case, patients have different metabolic profiles and no villi damage but a clear set of symptoms and some positive biomarkers like antigliadins. There is no evidence to support the fact that they can or should eat small amounts of gluten.

Finally, being diagnosed for celiac disease can be very difficult in the US. My father, for example, should have been tested as a first-degree relative given my somewhat confusing but nonetheless significant diagnosis. However, his MD refused, based on a lack of classic celiac symptoms. This is one example among many. Sending a confusing message to your wide audience that eating gluten-free is a trend only, and that even those with gluten sensitivity can eat small amounts of gluten only makes it more challenging for those of us who must eat a gluten free diet to safely eat away from home. Personally, I spent six full months convincing my grandmother that I cannot eat ANY flour. She cannot flour the cake pan; I cannot eat butter that has had toast crumbs in it. Undermining the efforts of those with true gluten-based disorders is quite depressing for us.

I do become ill after exposures-- for example, last fall I ate two bites of fudge that actually had wheat flour it in and had severe steatorrhea for three days and lost 5 pounds (I only weight 110, so that was significant). I was diagnosed with non-celiac gluten sensitivity after mounting classic celiac disease symptoms combined with bloodwork and later genetic testing (anemia, weight loss, diahrrea, pain, fatigue, joint pain, vitamin D deficiency/low vitamin D with supplementation, fingernail abnormalities, bone density loss, and even unexplained bruising, nosebleeds, and fainting). It is very important that I maintain a gluten-free diet, and given the severity of my symptoms combined with bloodwork and genetics, I honestly believe that I was well on my way to developing full-blown celiac disease.

Please do not undermine the important and validity of the gluten-free diet for those who follow the diet for health issues. The celiac community and others who follow a gluten free diet to resolve serious health conditions would appreciate a follow-up show that clarifies these issues.

Thank you,
name, MS
e-mail
blog address
p.s. My apologies for not including lit citations, but I'm not on my home computer. I'd be happy to send them if you or your staff would like them.


This is so well written. Many good analogies. I think more than Dr. Oz should be reading this!
CS
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#29 ENF

 
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Posted 25 September 2012 - 12:44 PM

Dr. Oz is having a show about gluten on Thursday, Sept. 27. His website uses the term "gluten allergy", which is not very encouraging.

http://www.doctoroz....ing-your-health
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Celiac diagnosis from positive blood work & endoscope (2005)

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 Subtype 2,8 (double Celiac genes)

#30 archaeo in FL

 
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Posted 27 September 2012 - 04:44 AM

Shauna,

Thank you for your post. I think Dr. Oz (and his guests, and their ignorance and poor choice of words) have obviously hit a nerve, but I think he was trying, however unsuccessfully, to encourage people (1) not to choose a gluten-free diet to think it's going to help them lose weight (thanks to a lot of other misinformation out there) and (2) to let people know that processed foods - whether gluten-free or not - will likely make you gain weight, and that the better option is whole foods (including safe grains for us).

Simply replacing "regular" processed foods with "gluten-free" processed foods is likely a poor health choice, for anyone. gluten-free processed foods do tend to be higher in calories and fat, and tend not to be supplemented the way that many wheat-based products are. And, let's be honest - how many Americans regularly track how many calories are in their breakfast? (I, too, make breakfast smoothies with whole foods, and pay a lot of attention to what I eat and how much of it I do, but I think it's beyond safe to say that most Americans don't. And though many, if not most, of the folks on this forum do, remember that we also represent a small number of folks with Celiac, so while this reading audience might say "hey, wait, I know what I eat in a day" remember that this popular TV show was not designed for you - it was designed for a much more generic American audience. Like other commenters, I also sometimes choose gluten-free foods with empty calories just because I feel I need the calories and wouldn't mind gaining a pound or two, but I believe, at least, that reaching for those gluten-free chocolate chip cookies shouldn't become a habit.)

I also share your frustration with the gluten-free food industry. Until my antibody levels are down, I will be avoiding oats, but many foods with oats are labelled gluten-free (though I do read packages anyway). There is no reason we shouldn't also have foods that are supplemented (as are wheat-based breads and other processed foods) and higher in fiber.

And I think in some ways Dr. Oz was calling out the gluten-free food industry and highlighting ways it can improve. And isn't that better for us?

Don't get me wrong - I think the language and presentation and some of the information is potentially damaging, and a continued effort to get him to correct the misinformation is great. But it's good to temper criticism with acknowledging positives, too.
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