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Is Gluten Bad For You?

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The Health Hype
Thanks to the increase in diagnosed celiac and gluten sensitivity cases, and the corresponding uptick in foods marketed to sufferers, “gluten-free diets have emerged from obscurity, and now the pendulum has swung completely in the other direction,” says Fasano. And with this popularity push, people have latched on to avoiding gluten as a cure-all for many conditions aside from celiac, including migraines, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. While some have found relief, that doesn’t mean a gluten free diet will work in all cases.

And then there’s the idea that a gluten-free existence is the ticket to speedy weight loss. But, says Mark DeMeo, M.D., director of gastroenterology and nutrition at the Adult Celiac Disease Program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, “there’s nothing magical about a gluten-free diet that’s going to help you lose weight.” What’s really at work: Gluten-free dining can seriously limit the number of foods you can eat. With fewer choices, you’re a lot less likely to overeat, says Shelley Case, R.D., author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide and a medical advisory board member for the Celiac Disease Foundation.

But it can backfire too, because gluten-free doesn’t mean fat-free or calorie-free.

“Without gluten to bind food together, food manufacturers often use more fat and sugar to make the product more palatable,” says Case. Consider pretzels: A serving of regular pretzels has about 110 calories and just one gram of fat. Swap them for gluten-free pretzels and you could get 140 caloriesand six grams of fat.

Next: Should You Go Gluten-Free?

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Read more: Allergies, Conditions, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, , , , , , , , ,

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Rodale

Rodale.com is a new original source for daily news, information, and advice on personal and environmental health. Rodale.com focuses on “Where Health Meets Green” topics, providing daily news stories and breaking news along with easy-to-follow, high-impact tips and advice.

289 comments

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6:49PM PDT on May 2, 2012

Sounds like it's not worth it unless you have Celiac Disease, but I have chronic fatigue so perhaps it my be worth a try, as one does not know unless they try I guess.

6:49PM PDT on May 2, 2012

Sounds like it's not worth it unless you have Celiac Disease, but I have chronic fatigue so perhaps it my be worth a try, as one does not know unless they try I guess.

9:39PM PDT on Mar 18, 2012

why is gluten bad www.aboutgrain.com/why-is-gluten-bad-for-you/

5:50AM PDT on Oct 2, 2011

who knew
Thanks

12:02PM PDT on Sep 30, 2011

Thanks Rodale!~

10:04PM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

Very Informative Article

1:32PM PDT on Aug 17, 2011

very interesting. I have as few friends who are celiac, and some with gluten sensitivity, and I know I react poorly to high carb meals.

8:13PM PDT on Aug 11, 2011

THANKS.

5:46PM PDT on Aug 6, 2011

Most people don't seem to know that humans have eaten grains for a very short part of human history. They have only been eating processed grains for a few decades. The human body cannot properly digest wheat.

3:15PM PDT on Aug 5, 2011

Gluten schmooten! Another fad amplified into whatever. People without the specific maladies that require avoidance should remain calm and wait patiently for the next expose. This too shall pass.

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