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I’m deficient, You’re deficient, We’re all deficient? (Part 2)

In  Part 1 of this article about nutrient deficiencies in the gluten-free population, I posed four critiques and questions that I promised to answer in today’s part 2. Without further ado, here we go…

Critique #1 questioned the small sample size of the research. I can’t do anything about that, and there’s not much to be said about it, so let’s move on.

Next, I think it’s easiest to address critique #3: How did nutrient deficiencies in the gluten-free population compare to Americans as a whole? To answer that question, I pulled data regarding nationwide averages from the USDA’s Community Nutrition Mapping Project. If I amend yesterday’s table that showed the percent of the gluten-free population who are deficient in given nutrients, and add to it a column for the national averages, this is what you find:

 

Nutrient GF Deficiency Nationwide Deficiency
fiber 74% 92%
calcium 82% 69%
thiamin 59% 19%
riboflavin 25% 11%
B6 35% 26%
folate 85% 40%
B12 29% 20%
iron 41% 11%

 

These numbers change the perspective a bit, I think. It’s not simply that the gluten-free population is nutrient deficient. When you compare us to the national averages, it gets slightly more complex. In some cases, such as folate, riboflavin, thiamin, and iron, we’re two or more times as deficient (as a group) than the nation. However, in other cases, such as B12, B6, and calcium, we still have greater rates Read More »

Lactose Intolerance: What Is It And How Is It Diagnosed?

Lactose, commonly known as “milk sugar”, may not be digested well if you are either born with absent or low levels of the enzyme lactase or if your intestine has been injured resulting in absent or low levels of lactase. Lactose is a disaccharide or two sugars linked. It is a combination of the two sugars, glucose and galactose. If intestines lack or are deficient in lactase you will not adequately digest lactose and you will experience gas, bloating, abdominal cramps and diarrhea shortly after eating something containing lactose.

The lactase enzyme is on the surface of the intestine cells where it is very vulnerable to intestinal injury. Some people are born with absent or low levels of lactase, therefore have congenital alactasia or hypolactasia. Between 80-100% of people of Asian, Native American, or African ancestry are lactose intolerant for this reason compared to only 15% of those of Northern European ancestry. Read More »

Making Thanksgiving a Welcoming Meal for a Celiac Guest

Stephanie Diamond Gluten Free Works

gluten free thanksgiving partyThanksgiving can be the most depressing holiday for a celiac. It’s a whole day that centers around food. And no one wants to feel left out of the festivities. Part of being a celiac isn’t just the food, it’s the psychology of standing out in a crowd. I’ve found that I hate being pegged with the “special meal.” I want to fit in and eat the same food as everyone else. Thus, the most comforting thing for me is being invited to the home of someone who is aware of the simple steps that can be taken to make a gluten-free Thanksgiving that’s delicious for everyone.

It’s not necessarily about making gluten-free alternatives of “regular” food. It’s about finding regular food that happens to be gluten-free. You don’t need to spend a fortune at a specialty grocery store; most of Read More »

MEDICAL RESEARCH: Vitamin D Necessary for Preserving Cognitive Function

 

Editor’s note: Promising research published January 8, 2007 shows that adequate levels of vitamin D in the elderly are important to maintain cognitive function or thinking skills that include use of language, awareness, social skills, math ability, memory, reasoning, judgment, intellect, learning, and imagination. This study is called a retrospective review because the researchers did not actually examine anyone. Instead they reviewed data from records of 32 older adults who had been examined for memory Read More »

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Namaste Foods Gluten Free Bread Mix Review

Recently I made a loaf of bread using a bag of Namaste Foods Gluten Free Bread Mix. I bought this on sale at some point, and it subsequently sat in the pantry for a while. I’m not sure how long, but there’s another 8 months to go until the use-by date, so I’m not worried. I like to have stuff like this on hand because sometimes I get in the mood to eat bread, and that usually means I have to make it myself. This time, I was also in desperate need of clearing out some pantry space, so making this mix was the easy answer.

This is the third loaf of gluten free bread I’ve made from a mix (Pamela’s and Bob’s Red Mill were the other ones I tried), and it did fairly well. It rose way more than I thought it would, but it was still heavy and moist the first day, only to very quickly dry out by the third day after baking.

The bread mix consists of a flour blend made from brown rice flour, Read More »

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