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Found 9 results

  1. Celiac.com 02/14/2017 - In 1999, Loren Cordain, the renowned professor of Exercise Physiology at Colorado State University who has since popularized the Paleodiet, published an extensive exploration of why our cultivation and consumption of cereal grains has been disastrous for the human race, resulting in many autoimmune, nutrient deficiency, and other modern diseases (1). Previously, in 1987, the famous physiologist, Jared Diamond characterized humanity's shift to agriculture as "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race" (2). A year later, medical doctor and professor of Anthropology, S. Boyd Eaton and colleagues suggested a mismatch between the human genome and our current agricultural diet/lifestyle (3). And more than a decade prior to that, gastroenterologist, Walter L. Voegtlin, M.D., self published a book apparently asserting, based on his treatments and observations of patients, that dietary avoidance of cereal grains and sugars, offset by increased consumption of meats and animal fats, is an effective treatment regimen for a variety of intestinal ailments including Crohn's disease, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and indigestion (4). Each of these perspectives was informed by a different but solidly scientific approach to human health. The academic field of each of these authors varied from Exercise Physiology to Physiology, to Gastroenterology, to Anthropology. Yet each of these specialist researchers arrived at the very similar conclusion that cereal grains are not healthful foods for humans. Their strident declarations to that effect leave little room for doubt. Dr. Cordain acknowledges that the roots of some of his thinking lie with Dr. Eaton and his colleagues. Nonetheless, there is a convergence here, of ideas and insights drawn from separate bodies of data and investigative approaches. While there is some overlap between these scientific disciplines, they all lead to a clear indictment of cereal grains as little more than a starvation food for humans. These scientists point to myriad signs of illness that arise more commonly when populations make the transition to eating diets dominated by grains, especially when the grains are refined and when they are combined with sugar. One critic of this paradigm is the evolutionary biologist, Dr. Marlene Zuk of the University of California at Riverside. According to Alison George at New Scientist, Zuk asserts that the 10,000 years that humans have been cultivating and consuming cereal grains is an adequate time period for humans to evolve an adaptation to these foods (5). But surely this is a Eurocentric view. Simply because some Europeans have been cultivating and consuming cereal grains for ten or more thousands of years does not mean that the entire world's population, or even all Europeans, would or could have adapted to consuming these foods. Let's look back to see what we currently know about our human roots and how those early humans spread all over the world. A group thought to number about 200 humans left Africa sometime between 85,000 and 70,000 years ago, during a glacial maximum that lowered worldwide sea levels by about 300 feet below current levels. The enormous glaciers of the time so depleted the oceanic barriers we see today, that these bodies of water were made navigable even with very primitive flotation devices. The progeny of this relatively small group of early modern people multiplied and went on to parent almost all of today's non-African people of the world with some 1% to 4% of today's human, non-African genes having been derived from the Neanderthal branch of the hominid tree (6). This predominantly early modern human group's progeny would quickly find its way to Australia, the South Pacific, across Asia, to China, east to the Americas and west across India, finally arriving in Europe, where they would supplant the long-time Neanderthal residents who had survived some of Europe's harsh and inhospitable glaciations but apparently could not survive having our forebears as neighbors. While specific paths and dates for exiting Africa, and worldwide patterns and timing of human distribution remain controversial, most experts now accept that indigenous Australians had arrived there at least 60,000 years ago (6). A similarly recent finding places people in the Americas by at least 55,000 years ago, long prior to the date at which the Bering Land Bridge was thought to be available for human movement from Siberia into the Americas (8). This newer, admittedly controversial date raises the likely possibility that people arrived in the Americas, from Asia, by boats or rafts on which they followed the shoreline east to what is now Alaska, then south of the glaciated wastelands of much of what is now Canada. (Or perhaps they arrived by some other means that we have not yet imagined.) But only a small portion of these early Americans would eat wheat, rye, oats, or barley before the last 200 years or so, especially those living on the Great American Plains, or in the frigid north, the dense jungles or places that were otherwise isolated from the encroaching wave of "immigrants" from Europe and beyond. And none of those aboriginal peoples of the Americas were eating these grains prior to 1492. The epidemics of autoimmunity and obesity that may be seen among indigenous Americans are clear reflections of their recent shift to the gastronomic wonders of foods derived from these European grains. Further, even among Europeans, grain cultivation and consumption had not uniformly spread across most of Europe until, at most, less than half of the 10,000 years that Zuk says would be sufficient for human adaptation. In Britain, for instance, grain farming was only getting under way about 4,000 years ago, and availability of grains varied according to local geographies and economies. Also, in parts of Scandanavia, wheat bread was a rare treat until after World War II. Some Europeans are thought to have been cultivating grains for even longer than the 10,000 years ago suggested by Cordain, but the evidence is contradictory and accompanied by a range of expert opinions. Further, the health consequences of this nutritional path are consistently seen in the skeletal remains of those early farmers, many of which can now be seen reflected among indigenous peoples of the Americas, as they assimilate our grain and sugar dominated diet. Adaptation to eating grains is not a gentle, joyful process. Early farmers may have produced many more children than their hunting and gathering neighbors, but their lives were shorter, their bodies were less robust, with substantial reductions in stature, and they experienced widespread infectious diseases and ailments driven by nutritional deficiencies. By the time grains became a cash crop for many European farmers, cereals were disproportionately consumed by affluent urbanites. Those who were large consumers of cereal grains did not include all Europeans, even where yields were prodigious. In more remote, northerly, or mountainous areas, cereal grains, or foods made from them, were likely a rare treat rather than a daily staple. Jared Diamond points out, that in addition to "..... malnutrition, starvation, and epidemic diseases, farming helped bring another curse upon humanity: deep class divisions." He goes on to argue that only with farming and the storage and accumulation of food can Kings "and other social parasites grow fat on food seized from others". He also presents evidence that farming led to inequality between men and women. Conversely, contemporary hunter-gatherers have repeatedly been shown to be quite egalitarian, both regarding gender and political leadership (9). Roger Lewin is another critic of the health impact of European grain cultivation on humans. He points out that even in the very heart of the Fertile Crescent, where agriculture got its start, there was not a uniform adoption of farming. One agricultural center at Abu Hureyra, experienced two cycles of abandonment, one at 8,100 B.C.E., lasting about 500 years, and another at 5,000 B.C.E. These periods when agriculture at this locale was abandoned are "thought to be related to climatic change that became less and less conducive to agriculture" (10). Lewin also harkens to Mark Nathan Cohen's collation of "physical anthropological data that appear to show increasingly poor nutritional status coincident with the beginnings of agriculture.... " (10) suggesting, again, that grains were a starvation food. Eaton et al also approach grain cultivation from an anthropological perspective, suggesting that increased dietary protein and fats from animal/meat sources likely gave rise to increased stature of earlier humans, along with providing the necessary fatty acids for building larger brains, and allowing smaller gut sizes over the past 2.5 million years. It seems reasonable to assume that if it took our pre-historic ancestors that long to adapt to eating meats and animal fats, the very irregular adaptation period of between less than one hundred years and about 10,000 years that various world populations have been cultivating and consuming wheat, rye, barley and oats would be insufficient to allow full adaptation to eating these immune sensitizing cereal grains. Dr. Zuk's perspective might be tempered a bit if she considers that Europeans and their descendants do not comprise the entirety of the world's populations. There are several Asian populations that are not insignificant when compared with European populations and their progeny, including the residents of China, India, Pakistan, and South-East Asia. Even among those of us who appear quite European, there may be a mixture of genes derived from peoples of any of the other five populated continents. The approximately 10,000 year maximum period since humans began to cultivate cereal grains would have little adaptive impact on populations that have only been exposed to these grains for a period of somewhere between four or five centuries and seven or eight decades, as is the case among the indigenous people of the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, and much of Asia (6). Even if all humans had been cultivating and consuming cereal grains for the 10,000 years since this practice was first begun in the Middle East, the high frequency of intestinal, autoimmune, and other diseases that can be mitigated by a gluten free diet, even among descendants of Europeans, leaves little room to doubt that Dr. Zuk's projected adaptation simply has not occurred. The current prevalence of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity identifies, at a bare minimum, between 7% and 12% of the American population that has not adapted to cereal grain consumption. While a few research projects suggest that molecular mimicry and the opioids from cereal grains contribute to autoimmunity, obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardio-vascular disease, current research does not provide any clear sense of how many cases or to what degree these health conditions are driven by gluten consumption. We know that foods derived from cereal grains are often laced with refined sugar, but the insulin stimulating properties of gluten alone are such that their role in these conditions cannot, reasonably, be denied. I feel vindicated by these many experts who decry the folly in humanity's embrace of the European grains. I wonder how long it will take for this information to filter into, and be acknowledged by, those who claim that science has led them to advocate cereal grain consumption for everyone without celiac disease and, more recently, non celiac gluten sensitivity? Sources: Cordain, Loren. Simopoulos AP (ed): Evolutionary Aspects of Nutrition and Health. Diet, Exercise, Genetics and Chronic Disease. World Rev Nutr Diet. Basel, Karger, 1999, vol 84, pp 19–73 http://thepaleodiet.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Cerealgrainhumanitydoublesword.pdf Jared Diamond, "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race," Discover Magazine, May 1987, pp. 64-66. http://www.ditext.com/diamond/mistake.html Eaton SB, Konner M, Shostak M. Stone agers in the fast lane: chronic degenerative diseases in evolutionary perspective. Am J Med. 1988 Apr;84(4):739-49. Voegtlin, Walter L. (1975). The stone age diet: Based on in-depth studies of human ecology and the diet of man. Vantage Press. ISBN 0-533-01314-3 George, A. " The Paleo Diet Is a Paleo Fantasy" New Scientist. April 7, 2013. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/new_scientist/2013/04/marlene_zuk_s_paleofantasy_book_diets_and_exercise_based_on_ancient_humans.single.html Oppenheimer, Stephen. The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey Out of Africa. Basic Books, NY, NY. 2004 Fagan, Brian. Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans. Bloomsbury Press, New York. 2011 http://www.utep.edu/leb/Pleistnm/sites/pendejocave.htm Brody, Hugh. The Other Side of Eden: Hunters, Farmers and the Shaping of the World. Douglas 7 McIntyre Ltd., Vancouver, B.C., Canada. 2000 Lewin, Roger. A Revolution of Ideas in Agricultural Origins. Science. vol 240, May 20, 1988
  2. Hi I'm doing an article on popular gluten-free cereals. Are you a fan of Special K Touch of Brown Sugar Gluten-Free Cereal? If so I'd like to ask you a few questions. Deadline is in a matter of days. Thanks in advance! See updated questions below. What are your reasons for buying Special K Gluten Free Cereal? How often do you eat Special K Gluten Free Cereal? How does it compare to other brands? What impact does having more gluten free cereal options like Special K have on your life? If you could tell Kellogg’s one thing about Special K Gluten Free Cereal, what would it be?
  3. One of the biggest complaints I have about the gluten-free food industry is that corn is usually brought in to fill the gaping whole left by the removal of wheat. Corn tastes great and all, but personally, I prefer a more nutritious wheat alternative whenever possible, so long as it still tastes good (which many do, e.g. quinoa and buckwheat). With Erewhon Buckwheat and Hemp Cereal, Attune Foods has crafted something of a gluten-free 'corn flakes' alternative (just to be clear, corn flakes are NOT gluten-free), which is made from two superfoods that we should all eat more of: buckwheat and hemp seed. Buckwheat is commonly found in top superfood lists because of its low glycemic index and high protein content. Hemp seed is a little less common in top superfood lists, perhaps because people associate it with cannabis (no, it will NOT get you high), but it is incredibly good for you. In fact, hemp is one of the only significant sources of gamma linoleic acid (a relatively rare essential fatty acid that helps boost metabolism). It is also worth mentioning that both buckwheat and hemp contain complete proteins, something that very few plants can boast (part of the beef I have with corn is that its protein is exceptionally low in lysine and tryptophan, making it a particularly incomplete protein). This mean vegetarians and vegans in particular need to start eating more hemp and/or buckwheat in order to maintain a healthy amino acid ratio. Since this is a product that clearly focuses on nutritional value, it is worth emphasizing that I enjoyed eating it. I love buckwheat, but I haven't eaten hemp seed in this quantity before, so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. I'm not sure if it was the hemp seed, but something about this cereal had a really pleasant taste and aftertaste. I found that it went particularly well with coconut milk. The texture is a little bit 'tougher' than a product like corn flakes, but that is partially because buckwheat is so rich in insoluble fiber, and it really doesn't take anything away from the overall taste. Bottom line, this is one of the healthiest breakfast cereals you could be eating right now, gluten-free or not, and it tastes good! For more information and a $1 off coupon valid through 12/31/12, visit their website. Note: Articles that appear in the "Gluten-Free Food Reviews" section of this site are paid advertisements. For more information about this see our Advertising Page.
  4. Is the new gluten-free line of General Mills cereals REALLY gluten free? They say on the box that they "remove wheat, rye, and barley" and only use oats. However, I've read that oats, unless certified gluten-free, are usually contaminated. The box says nothing about being certified gluten-free, nor is there any info on whether or not the facility processes wheat. My child with celiac disease does not experience symptoms, but his bloodwork numbers for Celiac are through the roof (over 100 even after 18 months of gluten-free diet). We're learning that he was getting cross contamination and are working toward eliminating that as much as possible, but I'm wondering about the possibility of misleading labels also causing issues.
  5. I saw Chex Clusters today and they said gluten free. Since it has oats though, I was wondering if anyone has tried this yet? Here is the link to the product: http://www.chex.com/products/gluten-free-oat-clusters Thanks!
  6. Looks like they snuck another one by us! http://www.kelloggs.com/en_US/kelloggs-special-k-cereal-gluten-free-touch-of-brown-sugar.html
  7. You may have caught my enthusiastic review of Attune Foods Erewhon Buckwheat & Hemp cereal from last year. Well, it's time I inform you that they've done it again: Attune Foods Erewhon Quinoa & Chia gluten-free cereal is a great way to add two superfoods to your diet, and makes a tasty corn flakes alternative. Like all their cereals, Attune Foods has done a great job of maximizing health benefits and keeping the ingredients list rich with wholesome ingredients, while still delivering a tasty product that isn't a pain to eat. This cereal is similar to corn flakes, but not quite as flaky: it's a little tougher and chewier, and holds up to milk better. Health reasons aside, I actually prefer it to corn flakes, as it doesn't turn into a mushy mess in 5 minutes! Attune Foods Erewhon Quinoa & Chia cereal is great for you, and should make a welcome addition to any gluten-free household's breakfast reserves. You can find it (exclusively) at Whole Foods. For more information, visit their website. Note: Articles that appear in the "Gluten-Free Food Reviews" section of this site are paid advertisements. For more information about this see our Advertising Page.
  8. One of the difficult aspects of being a parent, especially if you are dealing with allergies, is to try and find a food that is nutritious, affordable and more importantly—finding one that all of my kids will enjoy! When I discovered Erewhon's gluten-free Crispy Brown Rice Cereal, I just had to give it a try. The ingredient list is simple, which I love (only 3 ingredients total), and it is low in fat and has only 1 gram of sugar per serving. It is also made with 100% whole grains. When I first opened the package, it reminded me of a well known cereal that I grew up with. I popped a few in my mouth and I was not disappointed! This gluten-free cereal had a light crisp texture with a slight nuttiness...I am hooked! When I introduced it to my kids there was no way I was going to tell them that it was healthy—I just served it up with some milk and they all dug right in. They now ask for this crispy rice cereal by name (which makes me very happy), and we throw in some fresh berries every now and then to make it an extra special treat. For more information visit their site: http://www.attunefoods.com/products/Erewhon/erewhon-crispy-brown-rice-gluten-free-cereals Note:Articles that appearin the "Gluten-Free Food & SpecialtyProduct Companies" section ofthis site are paid advertisements. Formore information about this seeour AdvertisingPage.
  9. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 1999;96:11482-11485. (Celiac.com 04/10/2000) Spanish researchers, including Dr. Alicia Armentia Medina from the Hospital Rio Hortega in Valladolid, Spain, warn that people who have cereal allergies should exercise caution when drinking cola or cocoa products as these beverages may contain cereal proteins. These proteins could cause a severe asthmatic reaction in rare instances. Cereal allergies are very common throughout the world, and it is difficult to know the formulation of cola drinks. According to Dr. Medina: It is possible that they contain cereals. In their study, which was presented to the 16th World Congress of Asthma in Spain, Medinas team analyzed the allergic reactions of nine people who suffered severe asthmatic reactions after drinking cola. The researchers linked their allergic reactions to specific alpha-amylase inhibitor molecules that originate from wheat, rye and barley, and were found in their drink. The researchers conclude: My personal opinion is that persons who know that they have a cereal allergy should be careful about consuming foods such as (colas) and cocoa that could contain cereal in their composition.
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