12 Mar 2013

The Author

Sheryl Goldstein
Sheryl is the founder of The No Gluten Solution: Feeding Family and Friends, which is the culmination of her talents, skills, and her personal desire to develop an effortless style of cooking good food, making her guests comfortable, and always having an excuse for a dinner party.


Scientific American Not ...

I am so disappointed with an article in yesterday’s, Scientific American titled, “Most People Shouldn’t Eat Gluten-Free.” The tag line was “Gluten-free products made with refined grains can be low in fiber, vitamins and minerals.” The article did not provide any specific documentation regarding the benefits or pitfalls of a gluten-free diet, something that I expect from this publication.

What most upset me about this article is it was written as an editorial but presented as a research piece. I count on Scientific American to provide me with facts and figures, proof of their arguments and references that are published. Someone reading this piece is left with confusion, not information.

In response to the article, let me make an argument for not eating gluten-free. Yes, the grains that contain gluten are fortified with vitamins and are higher in fiber and you can count on processed breads, cakes and pasta to provide the needed daily nutrients. One can choose organic gluten products, but they often have not been fortified. These products are less expensive than those that are gluten-free and are easier to find.

So far, I am convincing myself that everyone should think to choose gluten-free foods, if given the choice. In the past, I did not believe that being gluten-free was for everyone, but maybe it’s time for me to rethink the issue.

I just attended a symposium hosted by the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University and one of the most curious findings shared was that the highest incidence of celiac was found in the wheat bowl of the world, Southern Asia. What baffles the scientist is that only 1% of the population has the celiac gene.

What makes this fact fascinating is that the protein in wheat, rye and barley (the grains containing gluten) is causing inflammation and damage to the small intestines merely by ingestion and not from a pre-existing condition. Research needs to be done to figure out why the damage is occurring, when did it start and what are possible environmental factors.

On-going medical studies are linking gluten to all types of body inflammations, and inflammation is often a precursor to all types of autoimmune diseases. Eating a gluten-free diet is a commitment and you have to be careful to insure that you are eating a healthy diet supplemented by vitamins and minerals. But, after my two days with the experts in the field of intestinal, immune-based, inflammatory diseases, there is no question that if I weren’t already gluten-free, I would be now.

Maybe the Scientific American writer should have attended.

Sheryl Goldstein 1 Comment
  1. Celiac disease without the gene! Wow … Maybe the high gliaden wheat is peskier than people think. This speaks to the epigenomics argument too; environmental factors regulate genomic activity. Great info, Thanks Sheryl

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