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Gluten: A Cereal Killer

Gluten and gluten-free diets have become more popular among people and now experts as well. Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, barley, rye and is added to many processed foods. (1) It is a common contributing factor to weight gain, toxicity, inflammation and allergic reactions.

Gluten-free products are now considered big business with sales reaching nearly $4 billion annually. Gluten-free diets became popular with individuals with celiac disease but soon found to provide a wide spectrum of health benefits for most people.

Pharmaceutical Paradise

A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found that the incidence of celiac disease (CD) may be as high as 1 in 33 people. (2) Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks and damages the intestines and digestive system.

Symptoms of celiac disease include:

Chronic diarrhea                    Constipation
Vomiting                                 Abdominal cramps and bloating
Pale stool                                Tingling and numbness
Weight loss                             Iron deficiency anemia
Pain in bones or joints            Osteoporosis
Seizures                                  Depression or anxiety
Infertility                                 Recurrent miscarriage
Missed menstrual periods      Arthritis

Gluten’s Dirty Secrets

Gluten primarily resides in processed foods and must be cut out of the diet. It is found in breads, pastas, cereals, pastries and cookies. It commonly hides in soups, candies, soy sauces, lunch meats and products that are marketed as no or low-fat.

Many non-celiacs and individuals that are gluten tolerant are switching to a gluten-free diet as well. A gluten-free diet has a wide spectrum of health benefits which include increased energy, stronger immunity, healthier digestion, balanced sugar, weight loss and improved cholesterol levels.

What do I eat? — Which grains are gluten-free?

Wheat, barley and rye have been found to be the most gluten-dense foods. Replace these highly processed grains with gluten-free healthy alternatives that include:

Rice               Hemp seeds
Quinoa          Sorghum
Flax               Amaranth seeds
Buckwheat    Millet

Gluten, Obesity and Heart Disease

Gluten throws havoc on our digestive system, inhibits nutrient absorption and produces systemic inflammation that can cause obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The battle of the waistline is actually a battle of the taste buds. The sweet taste of processed foods unfortunately does not have sweet outcomes. The inner aisles of the supermarket may shorten your life.

The tainted food supply is producing a new generation of conditions never seen before. The primary goal is not to be sucked into the food and pharmaceutical industry rat race that is ultimately shortening the lives of millions of people. The hazardous effects of processed foods is now becoming apparent and a change back to eating fresh, raw and organic is on the horizon.

Dr. Cory Couillard is an international healthcare speaker and columnist for numerous newspapers, magazines, websites and publications throughout the world. He works in collaboration with the World Health Organization's goals of disease prevention and global healthcare education. Views do not necessarily reflect endorsement.

Facebook: Dr Cory Couillard
Twitter: DrCoryCouillard

(2) Journal of Pediatrics January 2000 136:86-90


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