Is a Gluten-Free Diet For You? -

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Gluten-free diets are all the rage. From Gwyneth Paltrow to Elisabeth Hasselbeck to Posh Spice; celebrities are eating up this healthy trend so fast, it can be difficult for the public to keep up. NPR recently reported that gluten-free is no longer just for celebs, with General Mills cereal campaigns leading the way, and restaurants incorporating gluten free meals into the menu, information about this specialty diet is becoming more and more accessible. As Halloween approaches, arm yourself with the knoweldge to protect all the sensitive stomachs in your home.

What You Need to Know About Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a serious digestion condition triggered by ingesting gluten. There is no cure but eating gluten-free can provide some relief.  The Mayo Clinic serves as an excellent resource for those with Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

Experts are finding that more and more people are discovering that the gas, bloating and digestive stress they have been experiencing for years is due to non – celiac gluten sensivity. In fact, NPR reports that the millions of patients who have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome may benefit from a gluten-free diet.

Gluten is a very difficult protein to break down and for some that can mean a lot of pain and discomfort. People who are gluten sensitive should stay away from anything that is made with wheat, barley or rye. Here is a detailed list from the Mayo Clinic of what to avoid.

Why Gluten- Free May Not Be the Ideal Slim Down Diet.

While many may look to a gluten free lifestyle for a way to shed the dreaded winter weight, some experts warn that unless you have Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, this might not be the diet for you. The expert quoted in the NPR piece explains that often people gain weight on gluten free diets because of coping mechanisms.

"Sometimes if people are giving up pizza, they'll compensate by eating something extra — say, ice cream. It's a common coping strategy," says Harvard gastroenterologist, Dan Leffler. "I think there's a perception that gluten-free equals health," Leffler told me. "It's just not the case." Just because there's no gluten in a food doesn't mean it's not loaded with calories, fat and sugar."

18 Oct, 2011

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