9/22/2014

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Is 'gluten free' good for your health?

Is 'gluten free' good for your health?
A decade ago, virtually no one in the United States seemed to have a problem eating gluten in bread and other foods. Now, millions do and spend more than $7 billion on gluten-free products. Yet, experts estimate that more than half of those consumers don’t have any clear-cut reaction to gluten. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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It seems like everyone is going "gluten free" these days. Most don't have a gluten-related disorder - only a small percentage of the population has celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
 
Some say avoiding gluten makes them feel better. Others do it to lose weight.
 
And yet, health experts say, for those without a gluten-related disorder there's no evidence that avoiding it has any health benefits. And consider this.
 
"You may wind up excluding from your diet really healthy foods that you should be eating," Dr. John Swartzberg at the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter says.
 
Dr. Swartzberg also says most of us should be eating more whole grains, including whole wheat.
 
"Most of the gluten-free products that you buy tend to be made from less healthful refined flour. It's gluten-free flour, but never-the-less it's refined flour, so you lose all the real nourishment of the product."
 
Dr. Swartzberg says if you've gone gluten-free and feel better, it's probably because you've cut out a lot of refined carbs and other junk foods, not because you've given up gluten.
 
More Information:
 
Should you go gluten-free?
Should you worry about wheat?

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