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What Are The "health Issues" Of The gluten-free Diet?
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13 posts in this topic

I know getting enough fiber is one, when you eliminate the whole grains. How do you make sure you or your kids are getting enough fiber?

What are the other diet issues that we might need to compensate for?

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I ask because I keep hearing doctors say if you don't have celiac you shouldn't be on it because it is not good for you.

Frankly, I think my son is eating healthier than before.

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most vegetables and lower carb fruits have MORE fiber than a serving of typical whole wheat pasta or bread. It bugs the crap out of me that nutritionists and doctors can't figure this out, and keep telling patients that the best options for fiber are grains! It's just crazy and not at all true! Half an avocado has more fiber in it than a serving of whole wheat pasta. Not to mention LOTS more vitamins and it's full of healthy fats that'll help your body actually metabolize the vitamins!

If you need a fiber "boost", flax meal is a good option. Chia seeds also are a good option. Have seeds and nuts for snacks instead of cookies.

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As far as fiber, I really like beans, steel cut oats, brown rice, and I always buy the wholegrain gluten-free breads. You also get fiber from veggies and fruits. You could always eat a couple prunes a day if you're worried about fiber.

Gluten-free processed foods tend to have more starch and less protein and fiber than their wheat counterparts. The difference is especially noticeable if you were eating whole wheat. They're also not necessarily enriched with B-vitamins and iron the way wheat flour usually is in the US. Next time you're at the store, compare the label on wheat and whole wheat bread to your favorite gluten-free brand, or compare enriched wheat pasta to rice pasta to see what I mean.

If you've switched to mostly whole foods and are going light on the gluten-free processed foods you're probably eating better than before. B)

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Teff and quinoa have a lot of fiber. Try one for a few days before trying the other as some people can't tolerate them. Potatoes with skins also have a lot of fiber.

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Buckwheat and sorghum are other good grain options if you can't handle quinoa or millet or teff. There's lots of fiber in a sweet potato,

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I ask because I keep hearing doctors say if you don't have celiac you shouldn't be on it because it is not good for you.

It's honest to god bizarre to hear how docs and nutritionists talk about this, as gluten isn't even an entire food group. It would be like someone going on a potato, bell pepper, and carrot free diet and having doctors telling us how this is a terrible unhealthy diet for us. Just look at all the things we won't be able to eat! We should never eliminate carrots, bell peppers and potatoes unless there's no other choice. :rolleyes:

Seriously, it's just that ridiculous.

The only other issue is the fact that most of us, while eating gluten, have such crappy diets that we don't get enough of certain vitamins. To combat that, gluten products are often fortified with certain vitamins. When we don't have these vitamins added, we just have to make sure we get them in our diets, like we should have in the first place.

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It's quite enlightening playing around with one of the online food trackers. I don't eat grains at all anymore (maybe the occasional portion of rice in a burrito bowl) and I get more fibre than most people from all the fruits and veges I eat. The fact that they have to enrich regular bread and cereals shows that they aren't doing us much good on their own.

Sure, if we just replace whole wheat foods with their gluten free equivalents, we'll probably be getting less fibre. But that stuff is full of sugar and is so refined too, it's better left as a treat, if at all. If you replace those processed foods with more veges, you get all the nutrients and the fibre.

But sheesh, tell people you don't eat grains and they just freak out. I wouldn't mind pancakes occasionally and I enjoy that rice in the buritto bowl, but it comes with a downside. All that stuff is too high in carbohydrate for my insulin resistance. A serve of rice (which has very little fibre anyway)gives me a major rush, makes me super hungry with cravings to eat more and more starchy stuff and then comes the inevitable crash. I may as well just eat sugar from the sugar bowl for the way it makes me feel. Quinoa isn't much better and corn gives me a stomach ache in addition to the cravings. I eat so much better now than I did before I went gluten free. Amazingly so. I may be the only person I know (in RL) who has been diagnosed with insulin resistance, but I'm surely not the only person I know who has it. Telling someone with insulin resistance to lose weight and eat a diet high in whole grains is just cruel, it doesn't work, they aren't compatible. And we wonder why so many people in our society are overweight...

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I asked my son's pediatrician if there would be any problem with him going gluten free. She said that other than the diet being hard to stick to and not get cc, it wouldn't be a problem for him at all and would have no impact on his growth. At this point I haven't put him on a gluten-free diet because I'm still working out my gluten-free diet issues and he doesn't seem to have the issues with it I have. But he does eat gluten-free at home, since I'm the family cook.

I can't think of anything I'm missing nutritionally from my gluten-free diet. I'm eating much healthier and staying away from processed foods. And the few processed foods I eat tend to have only 3 or 4 ingredients, because anything longer than that makes it too complicated for my brain to figure out if there's gluten in there. :D

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most vegetables and lower carb fruits have MORE fiber than a serving of typical whole wheat pasta or bread. It bugs the crap out of me that nutritionists and doctors can't figure this out, and keep telling patients that the best options for fiber are grains! It's just crazy and not at all true! Half an avocado has more fiber in it than a serving of whole wheat pasta. Not to mention LOTS more vitamins and it's full of healthy fats that'll help your body actually metabolize the vitamins!

If you need a fiber "boost", flax meal is a good option. Chia seeds also are a good option. Have seeds and nuts for snacks instead of cookies.

:) Yes, this.

It's like they've all been grainwashed by Michael Pollan.

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:) Yes, this.

It's like they've all been grainwashed by Michael Pollan.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Thanks for that.

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tee hee hee hee :)

anabananakins, I have much the same reaction to high carb foods, even fruits like apples; I got a sugar rush last time I ate a whole apple! I'm not diabetic, nor hypoglycemic, but if I eat anything high carb and no fibre, I feel quite ill! I avoid sugar like the plague, rarely eat prepared gluten free breads, but I have been experimenting with some bread recipes lately, with a mix of oat flour and flax. They usually turn out to be less than half the carb load of store bought gluten-free breads.

For pancakes and waffles, I make my own and use soya powder and I use sugar free "syrup" or just some berries. I have never bought any of the manufactured gluten free waffles, nor any gluten-free pasta. It's all just carbohydrates, and no fibre at all to counter any of it.

My last blood work I had no issues with cholesterol, nor vitamin deficiencies, after about 1 1/2 yr of being gluten-free. My blood work right after my diagnosis though, my cholesterol was slightly elevated, and vitamin levels were all really low. So I guess I'm doing something right!

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I've begun to believe this great need for fiber in the form of grains is a myth. I've had constipation issues all my life and as a kid my mom would give me fiber powder in my food to counteract that.

When we went gluten-free at first we did try processed stuff like rice-flour pasta and crackers and I got very constipated. We eventually decided to try the GAPS diet as a family.

This diet starts off very low-fiber (lots of veggies involved, but they are well-cooked at first), yet it normalized my digestion (it also counteracts diarrhea). It doesn't reintroduce grains or similar foods for 2 years, yet the whole point of it is to heal your gut and normalize digestion and other physical problems caused by gut dysbiosis.

I've posted the first three stages of the diet as well as other information and resources on the blog linked from my profile.

As others said, just by going gluten-free, if you avoid processed gluten-free products and high sugar stuff as well, you will be eating better (and probably more fiber) than people who rely on grain based foods for all their meals.

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