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Food and nutrition myth about gluten

12 March, 2012 ,

As promised in our March is nutrition month, we will be publishing one food & nutrition myth per day, written by Dietitians of Canada, so that you can “Get the real deal on your meal“.

MYTH: Everyone should eat a gluten-free diet

THE TRUTH: A gluten-free diet is the only healthy way of eating for people with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, but it’s not necessary for everyone else. Gluten is a type of protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye, and any foods made with these grains. Unless you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, or you are allergic to one of these grains, you don’t need to avoid them. Whether the grain you choose is gluten-free (such as corn, rice, millet or quinoa) or not, enjoying more whole grains is a healthy choice. For good health, make at least half of your grain choices whole grain each day.

Source: Dietitians of Canada

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Cinzia Cuneo

Cinzia Cuneo, founder of SOSCuisine.com, never wanted to neglect the quality of her food. She shares her special expertise to make good food quickly and without complications!

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2 Responses to “Food and nutrition myth about gluten”

March 21, 2012 at 11:13 pm, August McLaughlin said:

Thanks for this post! I posted on the topic the other day myself and appreciate your spot-on, reasonable advice.

March 30, 2012 at 12:12 am, Sera said:

This is sound advice, with one caveat: undiagnosed gluten sensitivity, which is far too common. This gives a good overview:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/gluten-what-you-dont-know_b_379089.html

“A recent large study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people with diagnosed, undiagnosed, and “latent” celiac disease or gluten sensitivity had a higher risk of death, mostly from heart disease and cancer. (i)

[…]

The findings were dramatic. There was a 39 percent increased risk of death in those with celiac disease, 72 percent increased risk in those with gut inflammation related to gluten, and 35 percent increased risk in those with gluten sensitivity but no celiac disease.”

I personally know 3 people who suffered for at least 10 years before being diagnosed. One – a man in his late 30s – now has osteoporosis because of the calcium loss, the result of an intestine severely damaged by gluten.

So, yes – gluten is fine for those who aren’t sensitive to it. But pay attention to any odd, vague symptoms, to chronic indigestion, bloating, etc., to anemia, to depression, to skin rashes, to recurring infections, etc. etc. etc., and monitor your symptoms. Try going gluten-free for 2-3 weeks and see what happens. (Tests will tell you if you’re celiac, but not if you have a sensitivity – the only way to find that out is to monitor your own diet and symptoms.)

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