Diet

Watch Your Waistline While on a Gluten Free Diet: Part One

weight loss gluten freeWhen cruising the gluten free forums, it is not hard to notice that there are a few issues associated with a gluten free diet that come up a lot. One of these issues is a rapidly expanding waistline.

The problem of gluten free weight gain comes from the higher concentration of carbohydrates and sugars found in gluten free foods. One serving of gluten free corn spaghetti has 7 more grams of carbs than the “regular” counterpart. That may not seem like much in terms of numbers, but your thighs can tell the difference.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, many people are beginning to search for a sure fire way to beat the bulge. This is even more challenging when you are already searching to find the gluten free jewels in every party menu. Read More »

Watch Your Waistline While on a Gluten Free Diet: Part Two

Keeping a slim and trim waistline seems to be an important topic lately. Members of the gluten free elite are trying to find ways to counter-act the effects of a gluten free diet on their weight.Carter_foodcart

In part one, the subject of will power was broached. Now that we have established that you have such a powerful tool at your disposal, let’s work on how to use it.

Selective Substitutions

Since the problem lies with the super-carbs, that is where you need to start. Put your powers to good use by having three days a week with no gluten free substitutes. Stick to lean meats, fruits and veggies on these days. This is a budget friendly idea as well. Put the savings towards buying that new smaller wardrobe. Read More »

What are your “Keys to the Kitchen”?

I’m lucky. I got to ask Aida this question up close and personal. If you don’t know her name, you should. Aida Mollenkamp is California-based food expert, TV host, writer, and culinary curator. She studied at the Cornell Hotel School (like me!) and Le Cordon Bleu Paris before joining CHOW.com where she worked behind the scenes as Food Editor. Eventually, she moved to television where she hosted her Food Network show Ask Aida (you get the pun now) and later the Cooking Channel show, foodCrafters.

Read More »

What is “Healthy” Food to You?

Gluten free produceIn the past few weeks, I’ve had the chance to ponder the question “What is healthy food?” It seems that many of us have very different perceptions. Maybe that’s what stands in our way some times, we think healthy food and healthy eating is not obtainable.

It would be so much easier if my brain did not crave things like salty chips or sweet cookies but the reality is, it does. Maybe it’s a combination of many years of being bombarded with advertising to make me think I want it or maybe it’s as simple as it satisfies something in my head. I didn’t take enough psychology in college to answer that. I do know if it’s around me (like it is now as I write; you wouldn’t believe what is at the end of the table at my sister’s house) I’m less likely to eat well.

In my older years, I have realized that if I allow myself a little rather than denying myself entirely, I can balance the cravings with Read More »

What Is a Serving Size?

gluten free portion size

Image source: BLTURLOCK.BLOGSPOT.COM

I am on a mission this year to get in shape and to become healthier. I’m doing this for several reasons but one in particular is that if I plan to become an RD I need to be healthy – no one, including myself wants to take advice about health and wellness from someone who is not healthy and practicing what they are preaching.

One of the biggest things that I have found is really being conscious of Read More »

What is An “Incomplete Protein?”

gluten-free-claire-harrison

For me, being happily gluten-free means eating many different kinds of foods—from meats to nuts—rather than just trying to replace bread products. This approach has sent me into the world of legumes, and I eat lots of beans. As a result, I’ve become more interested in the nutritional value of beans. More specifically, I began to wonder why beans are considered an “incomplete” protein.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never really understood the term: incomplete protein. I know we have to “complete” the protein with other food, but what does that mean, and how are we supposed to do it?

Clearly, it was time to do some research, and here is what I learned. Read More »

When to Introduce Gluten To Children When Celiac Disease Runs in the Family?

garret-children-tested-for-celiac-disease

This post answers the common question – When is the best time to introduce gluten to a child’s diet when celiac disease runs in the family?

Question:

Hi John,

I was wondering if you have any information about when to introduce a baby to gluten if there is a gluten intolerance in the family. I work with babies with special needs and I am seeing a growing need for some accurate information on this. I am sure you are not surprised.

I know that some research seems to be indicating a good time to try a small amount of gluten is between 4-6 months. It seems that older research said older than 6 months. Do you have any knowledge on this subject? I am very curious but hate to share inaccurate information.

I have found some information on the internet, but wanted another opinion.

Thanks for any help you may be able to offer……
Alisa W.
Celi-ACT Support Group

Alisa Weeks
Early Interventionist
Tennessee Early Intervention System

Answer:

Hi Alisa,

Regarding when to introduce children to gluten is a difficult question. There was a study that “showed” introduction at between 4 and 6 months had some benefit, but this study was poorly performed and subsequently shown to be in error.

Really, there is no proper time to introduce gluten to prevent the development of active celiac disease. Every person is different and even siblings can exhibit different symptoms. 1st degree relatives have about an 11% chance of having celiac disease, so there is an increased chance that the child will have it. (As an aside, my sister with celiac disease has two boys, 2 1/2 and 1. She won’t let either touch it because she doesn’t want to risk it.)

If the parents of an infant or young child with familial risk to celiac disease decide to risk exposure to gluten, Cleo Libonati advises not introducing gluten before the age of three.

Why three?

Children do not reliably produce antibodies before the age of three which means antibody testing could be inconclusive and misleading if symptoms arise. Suppose the child does not develop the classic presentation of diarrhea but instead atypical symptoms that mimic other disorders. The symptoms could be dismissed altogether and not considered as presentations of celiac disease.

Harm could then occur unnoticed such as development of defective tooth enamel in unerupted permanent teeth (in the gums) or neurological disorders such as epilepsy that would show up later, with or without poor growth and development. Brain development is rapid in the first year particularly so that mental, social and behavioral skills could be adversely affected.

If celiac disease testing is performed in a young child, the following should be carefully considered before determining whether a negative result is truly negative.

• Children under the age of 2 years do not produce tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies, therefore the best time to begin measuring antibodies is after children reach age 2 to 3 years.

• In clinical practice tTG lacks the reported sensitivity. Specificity is reported between 95% and 99% in adults, falling to 73% in children at the recommended cut-off value of 20 IU.3 tTG is reported to be less reliable in early stage celiac disease without villous atrophy, the elderly, children under 3 years of age, smokers and advanced celiac disease.

• In screening relatives of patients with celiac disease, evidence showing discordance in testing suggests that both tTG and EMA should be used to avoid false negative results.

• EMA is reported less reliable in early stage celiac disease without villous atrophy, the elderly, children under 3 years of age, smokers and advanced celiac disease.

• EMA positivity with normal biopsy was found to be a very early predictor for later overt celiac disease, and necessitates further follow-up, especially if the child is AGA-positive and there is a family history of celiac disease.

• A substantial proportion of patients with true celiac disease are EMA negative.

• AGA testing had 100% sensitivity for diagnosis in children less than 18 years of age with iron deficiency anemia compared to EMA sensitivity of 81.8% in the same study.

In any case, the mother must watch the child for symptoms of nutrient deficiencies after the introduction of dietary gluten – whenever (if) she starts him or her. Children under the age of two seem to present with classic signs of failure to thrive, diarrhea, however, after that age atypical symptoms become predominant. Use Recognizing Celiac Disease to identify changes in behavior, growth, skin, hair, eyes, intelligence – anything at all – because that age period is a critical time in growth and development of the body and the mind.

Here are two videos about a child who presented with atypical symptoms at age 3 months, whose mother knew she had celiac disease but was told her children could not have it because it was so rare…and even if they did, she would recognize it because the kids would have the same symptoms she did: diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue. Her son had neurological symptoms only, disturbing schizophrenic-like episodes and you will see it was a miracle that he was diagnosed at all. You may recognize his symptoms in other children you know who you never suspected of having celiac disease. These videos are a real eye-opener and exactly why people need Recognizing Celiac Disease – so they can determine whether symptoms are related to celiac disease and the causes when they are. It is very likely that many children are being affected just as this little boy was…it is far less likely that the events that led to his diagnosis will happen for them.

Part 1 – Celiac Disease Manifesting as a Mental Aberration in a Baby

Part 2 – Celiac Disease Manifesting as a Mental Aberration in a Baby

References:

Cleo J. Libonati. Recognizing Celiac Disease, Fort Washington, PA, USA: GFW Publishing, 2007. www.recognizingceliacdisease.com

Abrams JA, Diamond B, Rotterdam H, Green PH. Seronegative celiac disease: increased prevalence with lesser degrees of villous atrophy. Dig Dis Sci. Apr 2004;49(4):546-50.

Lurz E, Scheidegger U, Spalinger J, Schöni M, Schibli S. Clinical presentation of celiac disease and the diagnosic accuracy of serologic markers in children. Eur J Pediatr. Oct 2008. Epub.

Donaldson MR, Book LS, Leiferman KM, Zone JJ, Neuhausen SL. Strongly positive tissue transglutaminase antibodies are assodciated with Marsh 3 histopathology in adult and pediatric celiac disease. J Clin Gastroenterol. Mar 2008:42(3):256-60.

Donaldson MR, Firth SD, Wimpee H, et al. Correlation of duodenal histology with tissue transglutaminase and endomysial antibody levels in pediatric celiac diasese. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. May 2007;5(5):567-73.

Esteve M, Rosinach M, Fernández-Bañares F, et al. Spectrum of gluten-sensitive enteropathy in first degree relatives of patients with celiac disease: clinical relevance of lymphocytic enteritis. Gut. Dec 2006;55(12):1739-45.

Sanders DS, Hurlstone DP, McAlindon ME, et al. Antibody negative celiac disease presenting in elderly people – an easily missed diagnosis. BMJ. Apr 2005; 330(7494):775-776.

Utiyama SR, Nass FR, Kotze LM, Nisihara RM, Ambrosio AR, Messias-Reason IT. Serological screening of relatives of celiac disease patients: antiendomysium antibodies, anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies or both? Arq Gastroenterol. Apr-Jun 2007;44(2):156-61.

Boger CP, Thomas PW, Nicholas DS, Surgenor SL, Snook JA. Determinants of endomysial antibody status in untreated celiac disease. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. Oct 2007; 19(10):890-5.

Grodzinsky E, Fälth-Magnusson K, Högberg L, Jansson G, Laurin P, Stenhammar L. IgA endomysium antibodies – an early predictor for celiac disease in children without villous atrophy. Acta paediatr. Jul 2008;97(7):972-6.

Shah VH, Rotterdam H, Kotler DP, Fasano A, Green PH. All that scallops is not celiac disease. Gastrointest Endosc. Jun 2000;51(6):717-20.

Why “Real Food” Is Important to the Gluten-free Community

Real Gluten Free Foods

“Real Food” can be defined as natural, unprocessed, traditional and nourishing foods that human have always eaten. This includes things like whole fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, fish and seafood, and animal protein. These lie in stark contrast to our modern foods which have been grown with the use of pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, have very often been genetically modified, and had chemicals and flavorings (synthetics and other highly-addictive allergens) added.

For those living a gluten-free lifestyle, supporting “real food”, or “pro food” as it’s sometimes called, with our purchases is important because it reduces the risk of being exposed to and ingesting gluten. Processed foods — both conventional and Read More »

Why Oats Should Be Excluded from the Gluten-Free Diet

oats glutenThe suitability of oats as part of the gluten-free diet has been a source of controversy, with some groups pointing to research suggesting oats are safe and others pointing to other research demonstrating oats are dangerous to those with celiac disease. Close inspection of available medical research clearly shows that oats, even “gluten-free” oats, should not be included in the gluten-free diet at this time.

Until the early 1990’s, oats were excluded from the gluten-free diet, along with wheat, barley and rye. Then, a few pilot studies suggested oats may not cause the harm previously thought. The idea was proposed that people with celiac disease would find their diet more palatable, and would benefit nutritionally, if they were allowed to eat oats.

Heavy contamination of many oat products with wheat, rye, and particularly barley, was a concern. Companies began to produce so-called “gluten-free oats.” These oats were tested for the presence of wheat, barley and rye. They are vigorously marketed as “safe” for celiacs. However, studies show that even “uncontaminated oats” (oats not containing wheat, barley or rye) are toxic to an unknown number of people with celiac disease.

Early studies proclaimed oats to be safe, but they have since been judged faulty with poor validity. Nevertheless, they opened the floodgates to Read More »

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