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Friday, December 2, 2011

New York Times Article - Should We All Go Gluten-Free?


Wow, this really makes one realize that gluten intolerance and Celiac disease is on the rise.  I wonder why?  At any rate, reading the article and the enthusiasm of General Mills to produce tons of gluten-free products to address this fairly new and growing market, one realizes that it is not likely to be a fad diet.  There is a real need for gluten-free products as many people are discovering that they feel better without gluten in their diets.  Certainly my husband is intolerant of gluten and whenever he gets "glutened", his weight goes up by about 5 to 6 lbs in one day.  It's hard to believe.  It takes a few days for that water weight (reaction to inflammation in his body) to come off.  The extra water weight puts pressure on the blood vessels (a closed system of pipes really) and pushes his blood pressure up.  Gluten is not a good thing for my husband.  Not everyone is gluten sensitive.    I don't think I am, however, I'm now of the opinion that it doesn't hurt to cut down on gluten and we already know that the wheat people are consuming is not good for them. Wheat (as in a slice of whole wheat bread) raises blood sugar more than a candy bar, plus wheat has a protein in it called gliadin which stimulates the appetite and also gives one a "reward" - a  feeling of mild euphoria similar to being on a drug like opiates (eg. morphine).  No wonder bread has such an allure for many of us.  It's addictive.

This article makes me realize that the cookbook team is on the right track and that our cookbook could not be more timely.  Not only are we addressing gluten-free, but also those folks who must control their weight (including me) through a low-carb diet.  I know that if I was on a high-carb diet, I'd be eating all manner of junk in no time flat (especially sugary things with white flour) and I can gain 5 lbs in 2 weeks.  Imagine if at this age with my thyroid and hormone problems (perimenopausal) if I kept that up for an entire year!  No, the only way I can control my weight is by low-carbing and now I realize, too, that gluten-free gives me even better control over my appetite.  I suspect gluten-free will remain main stream!  Most low-carb diets in their early stages are gluten-free, however, many of us used to add in gluten (eg. in my earlier bake mixes) fairly soon to help out with creating familiar comfort foods such as bread and desserts. Again, I must reiterate that gluten is not a problem for everyone - only a certain percentage of the population is affected, but still it bears thinking about and doing a little test.  Go gluten-free for a month and see how you feel.  :)  It's actually not that difficult if one is already low-carbing.

12 comments:

Kate A said...

Gluten free has made a world of difference in my life. No more joint pain. Amazing. My husband, I believe, is more gluten sensitive than I am and since he eats whatever I make, which is always grain free, he has had absolutely no intestinal issues whatsoever.
By the way, I received the new cookbook in the mail yesterday and am spending my day off today perusing it and am going to plan next week's menu by picking recipes only from the book. Needless to say, I'm quite excited thanks to you and your wonderful co-authors.

Lisa, motyok said...

My son Christian has his stomach issues controlled by the SCD diet, which is super restrictive. He is experimenting now with simply being gluten free and seeing if that was the main culprit in his problems. One week in, he has had no issues. Could be gluten is his problem as well.

Jennifer said...

Two amazing testimonies - no joint pain. Wow! No intestinal issues. Again, Wow!

Thanks, Kate, for sharing your story.

Yay, you have your cookbook!! Doing the Happy Dance for you! :) I hope you enjoy it very much and that you will want our follow-up cookbooks coming next year (vol. 2 and 3).

Jennifer said...

Oh goodness, Lisa - your comment gave me goosebumps all over. That's a very quick reaction (i.e. feeling better) to going gluten-free. It sure sounds as if it could be his problem. Easily fixed really - and less restrictive probably than the other diet you mention. WOW!!

Exceptionally Brash said...

It's really more than a fad. The best way to lose a quick 6 lbs for sure. Check out my wheat story.
http://exceptionallybrash.blogspot.com/2011/10/im-so-bored-with-paleos-my-n1-wheat.html

Jennifer said...

That is truly an amazing story! Thank you for sharing it. I am so happy that you figured out what was going on. You are blessed.

Carolyn said...

I have wondered for a while if the rise in diabetes is also related to gluten. There is conflicting evidence at the moment, but it may come out as a culprit. I am not entirely gluten free, yet, but I certainly don't eat much of it these days.

Jennifer said...

That is interesting. There is another problem with wheat - or at least all purpose white flour. It contains alloxan (a by product from bleaching the flour) which is used deliberately in lab rats to induce diabetes. I imagine in susceptible human beings, the same could possibly happen over time. I do think there may be a genetic link for diabetes. Too much sugar can also cause diabetes, I think. I remember when I was growing up, my friends' mom used to be co-owner of a little general store. She would get boxes of specialty chocolates and she would lie on her bed and eat them and read comics. She did that a lot. She became diabetic later on. Then again, something sometimes goes wrong during pregnancy, so there are many factors at play, I think.

Balvinder ( Neetu) said...

Hi Jennifer, nice meeting you. I am gluten intolerant but not a celiac. I mean if any cross contamination happens nothing dangerous would happen. If anyone goes gluten free9just by leaving wheat) for a month he is definitely going to feel more energetic. I don't think its a right approach because omitting gluten means missing fibre and protein. Moreover gluten is hidden in many food items people are still not aware. Yeah, you can reduce gluten. Like my husband and daughter eats gluten free baked goods whenever I bake.

I liked your site and is adding your blog address in my blogroll. I would love if you visit my site at http://simpleglutenfreekitchen.blogspot.com/
and join me for a toast today with a simple appetizer which I will be posting later this evening.

Cathie in UT said...

The hard part is that you can find out if you are celiac but as far as being sensitive it's a trial and error thing.
DH has been about a month GF and is feeling much better as far as his digestive system. Now he needs to add in a few fresh fruits and veggies at a time to see if being GF solved the problem or if he will have to continue staying away from much fiber as well.
Thanks for your hard work testing recipes so that I can have tried and true foods for me LC and he GF

Jennifer said...

You are very welcome, Cathie, and your hubby is very blessed to have such a caring wife.

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Balvinder. I had difficulty posting - asked to me to register again at Google? Strange.