Gluten-Free Diet Pitfalls
Here is How to Do it RIGHT!
I am a fan of the new trend for avoiding Gluten. Studies have shown that even if you are not “allergic” to gluten based on blood or stool testing, almost all people have intolerances to it. People may not be symptomatic from it or even aware of the inflammation in their own body, but the gut cells show signs of inflammation and damage including Leaky Gut Syndrome. It can be difficult to do this dietary change well. There are a lot of products catering to the new demand for gluten-free foods, but you need to be wary as they may cause other issues for you if you don't pay attention to the details. Your Navigator can help you find the right replacements for our Standard American Diet (SAD) reliance on gluten for binders and protein supplementation.
Clients are at risk of nutritional deficiencies when they substitute processed foods that are advertised as “gluten-free” but are highly refined and not enriched as are many breads and pastas. These foods can be devoid of vitamins and minerals and lower in fiber and have a higher glycemic index. There has been research that demonstrated that individuals may be at risk for nutrient deficiencies when they try to avoid gluten in common foods. They concluded that individuals following a gluten-free diet commonly do not consume adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin D, vitamin B12, folate, iron, magnesium, calcium, and zinc. However, one study also found patients achieved low plasma homocysteine levels (a sign of healthy detoxification) following folate and B12 supplementation in those on a gluten-free diet.
So, what can you do? Your Navigator can guide you to a nutritious diet that is well-balanced and nutrient dense, but does not include gluten. Simple changes such as aiming for a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables and the inclusion of “pseudo-grains” such as quinoa and amaranth can help mitigate the risk of nutrient deficiencies. Even if you eat perfectly, after years of farming, our soils are depleted, and I believe we all need to be on an effective and healthful multi-vitamin. Thus, it is even more important that we work together to find the right supplements and vitamins to achieve optimal health and wellness.