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daltons

Eating Gluten Free

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Hi, I am new to this site. My step son (4 1/2) was just diagnosed this week with celiac, and I have so many questions. I've posted in other topics some of my other questions, but this seems like a good place for this one.....

Our plan is for all of us to eat gluten free. I've read here and there that gluten really isn't good for anyone and I've also read that it's harmful to not eat it if you do not have an intolerance. Does anyone know which is true? If the rest of the family follows the gluten free diet, will it be harmful to us? My husband is hoping to lose weight....is weight loss typical when starting a gluten free diet? I know that gluten free doesn't mean fat free! I'm just wondering if there would be any health benefits for the rest of the family to follow this diet as well, or if it will harm us. The other children in our family are my children, so they are his step brother and sister and not at risk for having celiac. What do you all think?

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It is *not* harmful to eliminate four (out of thousands) of foods. What you need to be aware of is the over all nutrient content of your foods. For instance, bread is usually folic acid enriched, but gluten-free breads are not, in general. So you need to be aware of that so you get enough folic acid from other sources, which isn't hard. Alternative grains like millet, amaranth, teff, and buckwheat are *higher* in most micronutrients than wheat, barley, rye, and oats.


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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If the whole family goes gluten-free, you need to make sure that you are getting nutritionally balanced meals - up your veggie intake to manage the loss of fiber and vitamins (from enriched flours), gently increase your protein intake (low-fat meats, cheese and yogurts, as well as nuts, if possible) because much of the protein in an average non-gluten-free diet comes from grains. There will be no harm done from a balanced gluten-free diet - although you may want to consult a nutritionist to make sure that you are eating a balanced gluten-free diet. As for weight loss, I can't comment - though if you cut down on your carb intake, you may well lose weight, and if you don't lose weight, at least you will be eating a balanced diet. The one caveat to taking your non-celiac kids gluten-free is that they may protest at the loss of some of their favourite foods - be prepared to compromise with them on the diet at school and at friends' houses.

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