Is Gluten Free Living Killing You?

I know that it seems rather odd of me to ask this question of you, in this, my last article of the season. But is it? It is bad enough that the cost of most gluten free items is often three times the cost of the gluten filled version, as I like to call them. On top of that, numerous articles are out there stating that although the original hype was that gluten free living helps you lose weight, most find patients actually gain weight on a gluten free diet. Many gluten free breads and baked goods contain twice or three times as much carbohydrates, sugars and fats.
In another study that I reported on earlier this year, there was a question as to whether celiac and gluten sensitive patients getting enough fiber in their diet. After all, how many grams of fiber does plain old brown rice bread pack? A whopping 1 gram! So now we are fat and constipated!
In a 2009 study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, it showed that some celiac patients have less than optimal levels of certain B vitamins. Great, what does that mean? Well, since folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 are required to keep homocysteine levels in a safe range, a deficiency sets our bodies up for an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and other vascular complications. The B vitamin deficiency is most likely due to the inability of the absorptive lining of the intestinal tract to absorb many vitamins due to damage. Luckily a B complex supplement alleviated these symptoms.
My advice to you, now and in the future as you journey through your gluten free life is to pay attention to what you eat. There is no need to buy the $7 box of gluten free cookies. If you really crave a cookie, you can probably make a batch of mine for under $2. And back off a little on all the baked goods. Again, breads and desserts should be eaten at a minimal quantity whether they have gluten in them or not. You know what I do if I have a sweet tooth; take a rice cake and drizzle some peanut butter and maple syrup on top…yummy, sweet, filling and satisfying.
Lastly, eat plenty, and I mean plenty of whole foods, fruits and vegetables. Not only will this bulk up your fiber intake, it will also make you feel full longer, and not put as big a dent in your pocket book and at the same time your body will thank you for it. So don’t make any excuses as to why you are not eating gluten free. If you have any of the multiple symptoms I have talked about in my articles, do something about it. Remember, you need to be gluten free for at least 6 months to notice any results. Just do it…..
See you soon,
Lisa Velick
Baked Eggplant Parmesan
1 large eggplant, sliced into ½ inch slices
1 egg + 1 egg white, beat well
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 T Italian spices
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp tarragon
Dip each eggplant slice into egg to coat both sides.
Mix last 4 ingredients in a bowl.
Coat eggplant slices into the parmesan mixture.
Place slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes per side.
Serve as a side dish.

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