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To Be or Not To Be Gluten-Free?

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How to Eat Gluten-Free

The good news: "When you eat a whole foods diet and have control over ingredients, the world is your oyster when it comes to eating gluten-free," Bazilian promises. (Just don't eat oyster crackers -- they contain wheat!) The trick is to shop the perimeter of your grocery store, where you'll find fruits and veggies, chicken, fish and lean meat, low-fat milk and yogurt -- all naturally devoid of gluten. "Plus, the trendy ancient grains that are all the rage right now, like quinoa, black rice and amaranth, are gluten-free." Corn, beans, potatoes, millet, gluten-free oats, buckwheat (even though it has the word "wheat" in it) and all kinds of rice are all still on the table, too.

Dining out or consuming packaged products gets far trickier. While it's relatively easy to scan a label for wheat, barley or rye, gluten can masquerade as other common ingredients, such as enriched bleached flour, semolina and Brewer's yeast. Luckily, most supermarkets now offer special gluten-free sections and their web sites will provide safe shopping lists. Still, "cooking from scratch is the safest," says Bazilian. "When you're eating out -- sauces and condiments are especially tricky -- or buying products with labels, all bets are off."

If you truly do suffer from a gluten allergy, eliminating it from your diet will offer welcomed relief from symptoms, including more energy and fewer GI complaints. "But," Bazilian warns, "if you don't have an actual allergy or intolerance, it won't make you lose weight and it won't enhance sports performance. If it does, it's probably because you're eating more quality foods, like quinoa instead of white rice."

Now some important notes: People often mistake going gluten-free for eating grain-free, which can result in inadequate intake of iron, fiber and B vitamins, important for cellular functioning and metabolism. Packaged gluten-free products are also high in fat, trans fat and sugar, and can actually lead to weight gain. As with all processed foods, pick a natural source over the packaged stuff.

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jeanplrn wrote:

I am an RN and have been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity rather than full-blown celiac disease. Since I have been off gluten, I have my life back. I was ready for a wheelchair when I was eating gluten and eggs. People need to understand that the wheat of today is genetically engineered altering the protein and making it stronger, this is why so many people are becoming sensitive to products with wheat and gluten.

10/17/2013 04:14:44 PM Report Abuse
mok_alk wrote:

Just remember that celiac is an autoimmune disease that is being diagnosed more frequently than ever before thanks to blood tests and other immune marker tests. Celiac does not always impact your GI tract and eating gluten if you have celiac is serious stuff! If you eat GF and you feel better (fewer migraines, fewer skin woes, more energy, etc.), you make have celiac and not know it. Check with your doc before hopping back on the wheat wagon. (Oh and I have celiac and do miss wheat.)

10/17/2013 02:22:37 PM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

One more comment - as a RN for 22 years, I have worked with many people who medically required a gluten-free diet.

10/17/2013 12:09:14 PM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

Unless a person has been diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, a gluten-free diet is not the answer. It is not a weight loss diet, it is strict and lifelong. Approximately 1 in 100 people have it in the US but have no symptoms. I had none when diagnosed 22 years ago. Try no new diet without consulting your physician.

10/17/2013 12:07:40 PM Report Abuse
katzwack1 wrote:

Yes -- Gluten-free is the way to go and WILL help you lose weight. Just don't buy the gluten-free products. Rice flour is no better. Just eat protein, fruits and veggies and your bloat and "pooch" will disappear in weeks

10/17/2013 11:00:04 AM Report Abuse

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