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Gluten in the News

Gluten and the gluten-free diet seem to be in the news quite a bit lately. Have you heard the latest news about the gluten-free diet?  South Beach Diet creator, Dr. Arthur Agatston, has a new book and version of The South Beach Diet: “The South Beach Diet Gluten Solution”.  The book calls for removing gluten from your diet and then gradually re-introducing it to determine your level of gluten sensitivity.  There are many people out there who don’t have Celiac Disease, but are sensitive to gluten, so for these people this may be a great solution.

While I haven’t read the book, I did read the article on CNN, and there are a couple of things I wish were more clearly discussed:

  • First, I think it is important to rule out Celiac Disease before trying this method.  Going gluten-free before any testing for Celiac Disease can often skew the results.  Agatston does mention this towards the end of the article, but I really hope that he spells it out a little more clearly in his book, as I saw nothing about it on the book page.
  • Second, this statement: “#4 Living gluten-free can make you fat.”  It’s misleading, in my opinion.  Yes, he says “can”, but when you read through the paragraph, it goes on to say “If you find that you can’t eat just a few gluten-free crackers, for example, without going back for half the box, this product spells trouble.”  This is the case with any cracker or food that ones eats too much of – not just the gluten-free version.  I am honestly very tired of hearing the gluten-free diet makes or can make you fat.  Newsflash:  Too much food can make you fat if you aren’t burning off the calories.

There will be more from Dr. Agatston on “Sanjay Gupta MD” at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday and 7:30 a.m. ET Sunday on CNN.

How do you feel about gluten and the gluten-free diet in the news?  Weigh in below in our poll.

4 comments to Gluten in the News

  • MJruns

    I think statement #4 should be clearer – IMHO & experience, it's not only "do you eat the whole box of crackers" – which IS a problem no matter GF/not – it's that if you look at comparable products and serving sizes, it does seem that simply because of the ingredients, GF products are higher cal (rice is higher cal than wheat for example). Look at size/cals of a slice of GF bread versus wheat-based (and you can't get 50 cal/slice GF bread). Also, lots of GF products seem to use more sugar higher in the ingredient list, so even if the cals aren't that much more, it's more sugar (higher glycemic index) which can cause problems for folks who are sensitive that way.

  • Statement #4 is just ridiculous! Yes, everything you said is true and if people skim it will be misinterpreted.

    I think everyone, regardless of book, blog, news, etc. needs to be clear that you should be tested first. Everyone needs to understand that knowing if you have Celiac or not is an important part of the process. There is really no strong evidence that supports going gluten free if you do not have Celiac. With that being said the best diet is the one you follow and makes you feel good.

  • Amy Jones

    I think this kind of thinking is dangerous. If the person is just trying out the GF diet and has not been tested for Celiac, re-introducing gluten is not appropriate. The other issue is that we know so little about NCGS that we don't know if it's even appropriate to have "a little" or only with symptoms. And finally, because many with Celiac disease have "silent symptoms", relying only on symptoms to tell you whether you are having a reaction can be dangerous.

    • Amy,

      I agree completely. It is getting increasingly difficult to decipher through all of the info because much of it isn't entirely accurate.

      It was great to see you yesterday! See you again in less than 2 weeks!

      Kim

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