February 28, 2012

Gluten-Free Foods – Watch Nutritional Value

This was not what I had expected from WebMD. I do feel the writer may have it right. “Move over fat, salt, and sugar. There’s a new dietary villain in town and its name is gluten.” This is not to belittle those with celiac disease, as they do need to avoid any gluten. What the food industry is doing to gluten-free foods is not a good thing and is harming people more than helping them or serving peoples' best interests.

Best estimates say that approximately 18 million Americans have some degree of gluten sensitivity. About 3 million people are estimated to have celiac disease. Gluten-free foods are the latest food industry crime. They have little concern for the health and welfare of these consumers. Yes, the foods are gluten free, but it is all the junk that is added to these foods that creates additional problems for people trying to loose weight or even maintain a balanced nutritional diet.

According to Dr. William Davis, “Eliminating all things wheat from the diet is one of the most powerful health strategies I have ever witnessed. But replacing lost wheat with manufactured gluten-free foods is little better than replacing your poppy seed muffin with a bowl of jelly beans.” Dr. Davis is a strong advocate for a wheat free life.

Reading the Nutrient Facts panels and Ingredients panels on packaged foods is a good idea to help prevent nutritional vacuum in your daily food intake on a gluten-free diet. Consider purchasing gluten free products that have added vitamins and minerals.

Refined carbohydrates dominate most commercial gluten-free foods and it takes more gluten-free ingredients to produce a tasty product. Therefore, produced baked gluten-free foods are much higher in calories and total carbohydrates than the regular foods containing gluten.

Are there dangers from a gluten-free diet? Yes, even doctors that specialize in Celiac Disease are concerned about the nutritional dangers involved in eating gluten-free diets. They urge people to get nutritional counseling and follow the advice of a dietitian specializing in Celiac Disease. These doctors are also concerned about the levels (too high) of fat and too little of fiber. They state that people that need to be gluten-free and are closely monitored can receive tremendous benefits. Until you know that you have actual gluten sensitivity, be very careful about doing this on your own. There are many pitfalls that can damage your health unless you are under doctors orders and have assistance from people specializing in gluten-free diets.

Gluten-free should not be a fad because of the dangers. This is the concern of the medical community and rightly so as this is a dangerous fad. More can be read about gluten-free here. A gluten-free diet is not a plan for weight loss and can make weight management problematic for many.   Read this on WebMd as well and this article about gluten-free.

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