Tag Archives: Health

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 »

Which Medications Do You No Longer Need Since Going Gluten-free?

John Libonati Gluten Free Works

On December 13, I posted a question on the Glutenfreeworks Facebook page to ask people who had adopted a gluten-free diet if they no longer needed medications they had been taking. The response was incredible. Dozens of people described how they no longer needed drugs, some of which they had been taking for years or decades.

Here is my post and their responses…

“I gave a presentation to a group and mentioned a friend who had been on Zantac for 20 years. I went on to say that once she went gluten-free the acid reflux disappeared. A woman in the audience stood up and said the same thing happened to her – she had been on it since she was 10 (I’m guessing she was in her mid to late 30s.).

My question for you is what medication (of any kind) were you on, before you went gluten-free, that you no longer need to take and how long did it take before you did not need it anymore?”

    •  

      Ashley Nikki Garcia Prilosec & zantec. ! 

      December 13 at 5:25pm · 
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      Lauren Smith I also took OTC for heartburn on a near daily basis. No more! 

      December 13 at 5:27pm · 
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      Surely Masquelier McMaster I’ve taken Neurontin for 10 years..GF since Sept. and realized in Nov. that I don’ t need it!  Read More »

Were You Diagnosed with Gluten Sensitivity or Celiac Disease by a Doctor or Did You Figure It Out on Your Own?

John Libonati Gluten Free Works

do doctors understand gluten sensitivity or celiac diseaseIt is well documented that only a small minority of those with celiac disease are successfully diagnosed in a medical setting.

Gluten sensitivity, which we based on medical research and proposed in Recognizing Celiac Disease in 2007,  has only recently been accepted as a true medical condition. So we decided to hold an informal survey to see just how people are becoming gluten-free? How are they finding out that gluten sensitivity or celiac disease are the cause of their health problems and are doctors diagnosing them or are they figuring it out on their own?

We posted this question to our GlutenFreeWorks Facebook friends and here are their answers. Were YOU diagnosed by a doctor? Leave your comments below! Read More »

Dr. Stephen Wangen of the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle: An Inside Look

Gluten Free Works Author Jennifer Leeson

I have had the opportunity to connect with Dr. Stephen Wangen, the founder of the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle, WA.  Awhile back, at a CSA (Celiac Sprue Association) meeting I had the pleasure of helping Dr. Wangen with his book signing.  He had flown in to Denver to speak on his books, Healthier Without Wheat and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Solution. There was a full audience of folks, just like you and I, who were able to ask personal questions and learn more about living with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, as well as exploring other areas such as food allergies.

Since that time, Dr. Wangen and I have had the chance to talk about what the IBS Treatment Center does to help people really understand their bodies and how food can be affecting them.  He explores the possibilities of Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance and food allergies and helps people to develop a healthier lifestyle tailored to their specific needs.  At the same time, Dr. Wangen has observed the emotional affects these conditions can have on people and understands that not feeling well emotionally has an affect on how people take care of their physical well being.  What makes his practice so fantastic is the positive nature.  Dr. Wangen helps people view the changes by looking at the benfits and the gains and focusing on what people can have, rather than on what they can’t.  Here is what Dr. Wangen had to say when I asked him about his own experiences. 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 »

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 »

I’m deficient, You’re deficient, We’re all deficient? (Part 1)

I was recently reading a press release from Nature’s Path Organic about two of their new cereals. The press release made a familiar argument: the cereals “provide gluten avoiders with whole grains… unlike many gluten-free cereals which forfeit nutritional benefits…” The implication is that many gluten-free cereals (and other gluten-free processed foods, by extension) are more highly processed in order to improve taste and texture. But they do so by sacrificing nutritional quality.

There is some truth to this logic. Foods made from whole grains are inherently healthier than heavily processed foods, and I’ll use our good old enemy – wheat – to demonstrate. I compared whole grain wheat flour (less processed) with white, unenriched wheat flour (more processed) across a range of nutrient measures. Not surprisingly, the wheat underwent a profound loss in Read More »

National Jewish Health Expert Discusses Psychological Aspect of Living with Life Threatening Food Allergies

Gluten Free Works Author Jennifer Leeson

Mary Klinnert National Jewish Health

Mary Klinnert, PhD at National Jewish Health

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Mary Klinnert, PhD at National Jewish Health. Mary is an expert in child psychology and has numerous previous research studies on the effects of asthma on mental health.  She started her career mostly focusing on asthma, but in recent years, has turned much of her attention to the psychological aspects of living with life threatening food allergies.

While meeting with Mary, she briefed me on a study she is conducting on the psychological aspects of food allergies and how this study differs from the majority of previous studies that mostly focus on quality of life issues related to living with food allergies.  The hope of Mary and the rest of the team is to get to the root of what is happening to families that sometimes contributes to deeper Read More »

It’s That Time of Year Again! Losing Weight Gluten-free!!

Happy New Year Celiac Scoop friends! I hope everyone had wonderful Gluten-Free Holidays! My holidays were filled with family….friends….and delightful Gluten-Free Goodies.

Unfortunately…that means my jeans are now a little too tight, and I’m afraid to step on the scale at the gym. I’m sure many of you are in the same boat right now… But, let’s not get down about it. We all have to “splurge” once in a while… and let’s face it, one of the fun things about the holidays is doing just that. In December, we shop too much, we spend too much money, and we eat waaay too much.

But here it is! A New Year! New possibilities are ahead of us, and its the perfect time to develop healthy new habits. It shouldn’t be about going “on a diet” just to lose the holiday weight…it should be about making permanent lifestyle changes… It’s about living our healthiest! And living Gluten-Free and being healthy should go hand in hand. :)

So, cheers to 2011, and making it the healthiest yet! Who’s with me?!?!Here are some tips on weight loss that have helped me every time I’ve gained a few and want to get back on track asap:

Read More »

Staying Focused on Thanks!

As we approach Thanksgiving, I encourage you to spend a little time each day reflecting on what you are thankful for. 

It’s easy to get caught up in our life challenges and to start focusing on unfairness and negativity.  We often discount the positive and over analyze and give importance to the negative.  Even when struggling with life’s challenges, if we can Read More »

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