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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.