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    Some Important Things You Should Know About a Gluten-Free Diet


    Jefferson Adams
    • People with celiac disease must follow a gluten-free diet. Here are some important facts to keep in mind about a gluten-free diet.

    Some Important Things You Should Know About a Gluten-Free Diet
    Image Caption: Image: CC--@joefoodie

    Celiac.com 04/03/2018 - A gluten-free diet is crucial to avoiding problems associated with celiac disease. However, many gluten-free foods come with drawbacks that are important to understand.

    Also, not all gluten-free food is created equal, not all gluten-free foods are healthy, and simply going gluten-free may not resolve all of your issues. Here are some things to keep in mind about a gluten-free diet:

    1. Gluten-Free food is more expensive than food made with wheat flour. In fact, gluten-free substitutes are about twice as expensive as standard foods. They are more costly to make, and they sell in lower volume, which pushes up retail prices.
    2. Like many of their non-gluten-free counterparts, gluten-free foods can be highly processed. Processed foods can promote inflammation, which is one of the things that people with celiac disease are trying to avoid.
    3. Gluten-Free does not automatically mean nutritious. In fact, gluten-free food is generally less nutritious than similarly processed foods made with wheat flour. Foods that are naturally gluten-free will generally be healthier than gluten-free substitutes. That may seem obvious, but if you look at the gluten-free food aisle in your local store, you will see many highly processed foods that are not any better than their gluten-containing counterparts in terms of general nutrition. Gluten-free foods are often higher in carbohydrates and calories than their non-gluten-free counterparts.
    4. Gluten-Free food is higher in salt than its non-gluten-free counterparts. Recent products tests show that most gluten-free snacks tested are far saltier than their non-gluten-free alternatives. Of 106 products surveyed, researchers found that many gluten-free snacks have up to five times more salt than non-gluten-free counterparts. 
    5. Gluten-Free food is higher in fat than its non-gluten-free counterparts.
    6. Gluten-Free food is higher in sugar than its non-gluten-free counterparts.
    7. Gluten-Free ingredients don’t always mean gluten-free food. The news is riddled with stories about gluten contamination in restaurants, pizza joints, etc., that claim to use gluten-free ingredients. Examples of companies that rolled out gluten-free pizza only to be met with complaints by people with celiac disease include: California Pizza Kitchen, Domino’s pizza, and Papa John’s, among others.
    8. The longer you avoid gluten, the more sensitive you may become. For many people with celiac disease, the longer they avoid gluten, the more sensitive they become. This can mean stronger, more lengthy reactions to seemingly minor gluten ingestion, so be careful.
    9. A gluten-free diet will not reverse osteoporosis, or iron and calcium deficiency. If your celiac disease progressed for a long time before your diagnosis, then the odds are much more likely that you have suffered from osteoporosis, iron and calcium deficiency. A gluten-free diet alone will not reverse osteoporosis, or calcium deficiency. In such cases, you will need to consult your doctor for proper treatment. Osteoporosis is especially problematic in women with celiac disease.
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    Guest Laura

    Posted

    Do you know what's worse than osteoporosis?  It's "near death" from severe malnutrition & its associated diseases caused by the toxic effects of gluten.  Gluten is "poison".  Wheat also contains gliadin which is believed to be linked to type I Diabetes Mellitus, Fibromyalgia & numerous other inflammatory diseases.  

    Celiac disease is a hideous condition.  Food cross-reactors prevent the intake of foods containing: Yeast-Egg-Milk.  It took 3 months to stop "craving" wheat after I was forced for health purposes to stop consuming it.  There were no gluten-free products (cookies/mixes etc.) that did not contain egg or yeast or milk. After a few years the desire for "sweet" foods dissipated. 

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, and science. He previously served as Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for Sharecare.com.

    Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book Dangerous Grains by James Braly, MD and Ron Hoggan, MA.

  • Related Articles

    Scott Adams
    This article originally appeared in the Summer 2002 edition of Celiac.coms Scott-Free newsletter.
    Celiac.com 03/29/2006 - I recently reviewed the results of a Celiac.com survey, and was surprised to learn that 37 percent of 472 respondents do not believe that there will ever be a cure for celiac disease, while 32 percent think there will be, and 31 percent are unsure. After reading the question again I realized that it might be loaded—does the gluten-free diet count as a cure? Some people think so. Others think that the diet is a curse, or at best just a treatment. With the vast improvement that has taken place during the last few years in the quality of gluten-free foods I like to think of the diet as really good tasting cure. Of course the diet isnt really a cure, but the proof is in the pudding, and the diet has allowed my body to become healthy again and make me feel as though I am cured, and that is what counts—isnt it?
    Like most people, however, I still hold out hope that all the celiac disease research that will be done in the future will yield a cure—one that does not include a special diet. But be careful what you wish for because if you are like me your diet is probably healthier now than it ever was, mostly due to the necessary avoidance of most fast and processed foods. Perhaps the diet is really a blessing in disguise for many of us, and we will actually live longer and healthier lives due to it, in spite of having a "disease." But at the rate they are currently spending money on celiac disease research there will never be a cure—you say? After reading Laura Yicks summary of this years Digestive Disease Week International Conference in San Francisco (pg. 8), which includes a proclamation made by Dr. Alessio Fasano that celiac disease is "by far the most frequent genetic disease of human kind," I have renewed confidence that there will be a lot more money spent on research in the future, and eventually a cure will be found.
    More surprises in the survey results came when 6.5 percent of respondents said spelt was safe for a gluten-free diet, while 32.3 percent were unsure. I like to interpret this result as 38.8 percent of respondents were just diagnosed and are on their first visit to Celiac.com—but this is wishful thinking. Unfortunately this result means that we have more work to do (spelt is not safe!). The most surprising response, however, was how many people cheat on their diets—a full 43 percent! Some 13 percent actually cheat 20-40 times per year or more. The main excuses for cheating: 1) People missed a particular item too much to go without it; and 2) Gluten-free foods are not always available or are too expensive. These were the same folks who got the spelt question wrong—the ones who were just diagnosed, right? We have more work to do...
    There are just too many great alternatives out there to knowingly eat gluten. After learning so much over the years about food ingredients and preparation I like to think that I could walk into a restaurant called "House of Gluten" and order a gluten-free meal. Educating yourself about how food is prepared and which ingredients are safe or not safe is really the key to enjoying life while on this diet. Remember, the next time you are tempted, say to yourself over and over—this diet is a really good tasting cure—and dont cheat! Oh no...65 percent of respondents dont know that buckwheat is safe, and 58 percent dont know that Quinoa is safe...time for me to get back to work—enjoy Scott-Free!

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/26/2016 - An Australian dietary organization has published a study showing the high and hidden costs of a gluten-free diet, and is calling for a subsidy program to help offset those extra costs.
    A newly published study quantifying the cost of gluten-free foods shows a family with two children can pay nearly 20% more for gluten-free food. The costs are even greater for single men on welfare.
    The study is the first of its kind to prove "that a gluten-free diet is a significant financial burden for many Australian family types," say University of Wollongong researchers Kelly Lambert and Caitlin Ficken, the study's authors.
    The study was supported by the Dieticians Association (DAA) of Australia, and the results appear in its scientific journal Nutrition and Dietetics. For their study, Lambert and Ficken compared gluten-free diet groceries with a standard non-gluten-free shopping basket using data from supermarkets in five varying suburbs in the Illawarra region south of Sydney.
    They found that flour actually showed the highest cost differential, with gluten-free flour costing 570 per cent more than plain flour, "so even making things from scratch is exorbitantly more expensive," said Ms Lambert, who is also a dietician at Wollongong Hospital.
    The study showed that wholemeal gluten-free bread was nearly five times more expensive than comparable non-gluten-free bread.
    In the face of these results, the DAA is calling for gluten-free diets to be subsidized for those with medical need.
    What do you think? Is a gluten-free diet for people in medical need something that deserves to be subsidized?
    Read the more at: Dietitians Association of Australia

    Jefferson Adams
    How Good is Your Gluten-free Diet?
    Celiac.com 12/08/2016 - People with celiac disease are supposed to follow a strict lifelong gluten-free diet. Celiac patients should receive regular follow-up dietary interviews and blood tests to make sure that they are successfully following the diet.
    However, none of these methods offer an accurate measure of dietary compliance. The only way to know for sure, is to test. A team of researchers recently set out to evaluate the measurement of gluten immunogenic peptides (GIP) in stools as a marker of gluten-free diet adherence in celiac patients and compare it with traditional methods of gluten-free diet monitoring.
    The team conducted a prospective, nonrandomized, multi-center study including 188 celiac patients on gluten-free diet and 84 healthy controls. Subjects were given a dietary questionnaire and fecal GIP quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). They simultaneously measured serological anti-tissue transglutaminase (anti-tTG) IgA and anti-deamidated gliadin peptide (anti-DGP) IgA antibodies.
    A total of 56 of the 188 celiac patients, about 30 percent, had detectable GIP levels in stools. There was significant association between age and GIP in stools that revealed increasing dietary transgressions with advancing age. Nearly forty percent occurred in in subjects 13 years of age or older, with 60% occurring in men 13 years of age or older.
    The team found no connection between fecal GIP and dietary questionnaire or anti-tTG antibodies. However, they did spot a connection between GIP and anti-DGP antibodies, with seven of the 53 GIP stool-positive patients testing positive for anti-DGP.
    The detection of gluten peptides in stool samples shows the limits of traditional methods for monitoring a gluten-free diet in celiac patients. The GIP ELISA provides direct and quantitative assessment of gluten exposure soon after consumption, and might improve diagnosis and clinical management of non-responsive celiac disease and refractory celiac disease.
    Basically, doctors need to take a much more hands on role in monitoring celiac patients who are following gluten-free diets.
    Source:
    Am J Gastroenterol 2016; 111:1456–1465; doi:10.1038/ajg.2016.439; published online 20 September 2016 The research team included Isabel Comino PhD1, Fernando Fernández-Bañares MD, PhD2, María Esteve MD, PhD2, Luís Ortigosa MD, PhD3, Gemma Castillejo MD, PhD4, Blanca Fambuena MS5, Carmen Ribes-Koninckx MD, PhD6, Carlos Sierra MD, PhD7, Alfonso Rodríguez-Herrera MD, PhD8, José Carlos Salazar MD9, Ángel Caunedo MD10, J M Marugán-Miguelsanz MD, PhD11, José Antonio Garrote MD, PhD12, Santiago Vivas MD, PhD13, Oreste lo Iacono MD, PhD14, Alejandro Nuñez BSc13, Luis Vaquero MD, PhD13, Ana María Vegas MD12, Laura Crespo MD12, Luis Fernández-Salazar MD, PhD11, Eduardo Arranz MD, PhD11, Victoria Alejandra Jiménez-García MD10, Marco Antonio Montes-Cano MD, PhD15, Beatriz Espín MD, PhD9, Ana Galera MD8, Justo Valverde MD8, Francisco José Girón MD7, Miguel Bolonio MSc6, Antonio Millán MD, PhD5, Francesc Martínez Cerezo 4, César Guajardo MD3, José Ramón Alberto MD3, Mercé Rosinach MD, PhD2, Verónica Segura BSc1, Francisco León MD, PhD16, Jorge Marinich PhD17, Alba Muñoz-Suano PhD17, Manuel Romero-Gómez MD, PhD5, Ángel Cebolla PhD17 and Carolina Sousa PhD1
    They are variously affiliated with the Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Seville, Seville, Spain; the Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital Universitari Mutua Terrassa, and CIBERehd, Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain; the Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de La Candelaria, Tenerife, Spain; Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hospital Universitari de Sant Joan de Reus, IISPV, URV, Reus, Spain; the Unit for the Clinical Management of Digestive Diseases and CIBERehd and Gastroenterology and Nutrition Unit, Hospital Universitario Virgen de Valme, Seville, Spain; the Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Unit, Hospital Universitario y Politécnico La Fe, Celiac Disease and Digestive Inmunopatology Unit, Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria La Fe, Valencia, Spain; the Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Unit, Hospital Materno-Infantil, Malaga, Spain; the Gastroenterology and Nutrition Unit, Instituto Hispalense de Pediatría, Seville, Spain; the Servicio de Gastroenterología Pediátrica, Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío, Seville, Spain; the Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena, Seville, Spain; the Mucosal Immunology Laboratory, Instituto de Biología y Genética Molecular (IBGM), University of Valladolid, CSIC and Gastroenterology Unit, Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain; the Clinical Analysis and Pediatrics, Hospital Universitario Río Hortega, Valladolid, Spain; the Servicio de Aparato Digestivo, Hospital Universitario de Leon, Leon, Spain; the Sección de Aparato Digestivo, Hospital del Tajo, Madrid, Spain; the Servicio de Inmunología, CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública, Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío/IBiS/CSIC/Universidad de Sevilla, Seville, Spain; with Celimmune, Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and with Biomedal SL, Seville, Spain

    Jefferson Adams
    Is Your Gluten-free Diet Killing You?
    Celiac.com 04/20/2017 - More people than ever are following a gluten-free diet, but does the diet carry health risks that could cause harm in the long run? That's a very possible scenario, according to a report published in the journal Epidemiology.
    The report presents strong data to suggest that numerous gluten-free food staples contain high levels of toxic metals, which means that many gluten-free eaters could face higher risks for cancer and other chronic illnesses.
    Moreover, the US studies both reveal that people who follow a gluten-free diet have twice as much arsenic in their urine as those who eat a non-gluten-free diet. They also have 70 per cent more mercury in their blood, along with high levels of other toxic metals, such as lead and cadmium. Clearly the report invites further study to determine if these potentially negative effects are merely statistical, or if they are actually represented in corresponding numbers of gluten-free dieters.
    So, look for more study to see if people eating gluten-free are actually having higher rates of cancer and other toxic metal-related disorders.
    Meantime, you may be able to mitigate negative effects of a gluten-free diet by choosing products with lower levels of toxic metals. California-grown rice, for example seems to have lower levels compared to Chinese rice.
    If you follow a gluten-free diet for medical reasons, keep an eye out for symptoms related to toxic metal exposure, and consult a doctor if you think you are experiencing such symptoms.
    Read more at: Celiac.com.
    Does a Gluten-free Diet Mean Higher Arsenic and Mercury Levels? Read more at The Daily Mail.



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