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Don’t Believe The Gluten Free Hype

The buzz surrounding gluten-free food isn’t likely to die down soon. Today’s Dietitian, a trade magazine for dietitians, just released a survey of more than 500 dietitians on their predictions for this year’s nutrition trends, with gluten-free coming out on top.

Adhering to a gluten-free diet is advisable for people with legitimate gluten intolerance or coeliac disease but for the rest of us there just isn’t evidence to suggest that wheat or other gluten containing grains are bad for us when eaten in moderation. In fact, most evidence suggests that eating whole grains is a good thing. Some of these whole grains can be gluten free, such as buckwheat, corn, rice, amaranth, millet, quinoa, sorghum, and teff. But others such as, wheat, barley and rye contain gluten.

The daily recommendation for whole grains in the US is to eat 3 per day. This 3 per day could be made up by oatmeal at breakfast, whole grain bread at lunch and a portion of rice in the evening. They key to ensuring these 3 a day stays healthy is portion size. Once eaten in moderation these are all healthy and good foods! The most reliable evidence suggests that eating a few moderate portions of whole grains per day can lower fasting insulin and triglyceride levels and reduce risk factors for type-II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Eating more refined grains, which do not contain the cereal germ and bran do not have the same health benefits as their whole grain counterparts.

Currently there is no reliable evidence to suggest gluten free foods will not help you lose weight. Infact, many commercially available foods displace gluten and replace it with empty calories from refined sugars and saturated fats. For those of you without gluten intolerance or coeliac disease our recommendation is to keep on eating whole grains and ignore hyped up gluten free products. Fresh food wins out everytime!

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