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Grains and Gluten Intolerance

If wheat, rye and barley are the main grains with gluten, how about other grains?  Can you still eat Grains with Gluten Intolerance?

First off, grains and processed foods made with grains is not quite the same thing.  According to one of my favorite experts on the Gluten Free issues, Dr. Vikki Petersen:

Should Celiacs (or Gluten Intolerants) Eat dr_vikki1-227x300Grain?

A whole, organic grain is a beautiful complex carbohydrate that the body burns cleanly for good energy. The refined version (like those in processed foods) spikes blood sugar, creating an insulin response, inflammation, weight gain and, over time, degenerative disease. So as you can see they are vastly different!

If you are keeping track of the GMO issues, you know that corn and soy are mostly GMO now (unless marked organic or non-GMO).  Personally, I don’t eat soy and I watch for homegrown or organic corn.  Also, I don’t eat corn as a vegetable — I eat it as a grain in cereal, baked goods, etc. — but mostly as my favorite snack:  Popcorn!!

And even though oats are not considered a gluten grain, they are often processed in the same facilities as wheat; thus are often contaminated.  Oats processed in a gluten free environment will be marked as such and are safe for folks avoiding gluten.

Dr. Petersen goes on to explain:
Another facet of grains to be aware of is how they may fall into the category of cross-reactive foods as it relates to gluten intolerance. These particular foods, chiefly dairy products and grains,  have a similar protein structure to gluten and can create stress for certain patients whose immune system is unable to differentiate between these foods and gluten. Yes, the foods are, themselves, gluten-free. But in susceptible individuals the protein structure is similar enough to gluten to confuse the immune system into thinking it actually IS gluten. ….

When I was first tested for food allergies, my profile for dairy products showed a high susceptibility for an allergic reaction.  So along with wheat and gluten, I eliminated dairy (and eggs — which also was listed high) from my diet.  Now, after nearly four years, I have been slowing adding some occasional dairy into my diet.  I felt that my body needed LOTS of time to recover from the gluten damage.  But since I have seen a great improvement in my health during the last several months, I have been a bit more lenient with dairy and eggs.

Dr. Petersen concludes her article  ….

Where that leaves us is that there is no ‘pat’ answer to the question of grains being acceptable or not. But I do disagree with a viewpoint that eschews all grains for everyone. I find that not only unnecessary, but many gluten-free grains in their organic, whole form are very nutritious. These include rice, tef, quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, tapioca, arrowroot – the last few are not actual ‘grains’ but they are treated as such in many grain-rich gluten free foods.

Which grains do you eat?

My favorites are quinoa and rice (not including my organic popcorn!) although I do occasionally eat teff, millet, amaranth and buckwheat.

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Benefits of Coconut Flour and Coconut Oil

If you read my posts, you will know that I am a big lover of all things coconut.  There are SO MANY Benefits of Coconut Flour and Coconut Oil that I don’t think we could list them all.

Dr. Mercola has posted a wonderful article on Coconut Flour and Oil.  Here are a few excerpts:

“At Last — A Natural And Delicious Alternative To Wheat
And Grain That’s Packed with Dietary Fiber
And Is A Good Source of Protein Too!”

I believe Virgin coconut oil is one of the smartest oils you can eat. Rich in lauric acid, coconut oil contains NO trans fat, strengthens your immune system and boosts your metabolism!…

By substituting our new Coconut Flour in some of your baking recipes, you can literally recreate your favorite treats, turning them into delicious guilt-free health promoting foods….

Coconut flour is unlike any other consisting of 14% coconut oil and 58% dietary fiber! The remaining 28% consists of water, protein, and carbohydrate. If you haven’t tried coconut flour yet, here are some more excellent reasons to start:

  • Coconut Flour is ideal for baking. It has fewer digestible (net) carbs than other flours, and it even has fewer digestible carbs than some vegetables!
  • Coconut Flour is gluten-free and hypoallergenic. With as much protein as wheat flour, coconut flour has none of the specific protein in wheat called “gluten”. This is an advantage for a growing percentage of the population who have allergies to gluten or a wheat sensitivity.
  • Coconut Flour consists of the highest percentage of dietary fiber( 58%) found in any flour. Wheat bran has only is 27% fiber.
  • Coconut Flour can help you reach a healthy weight. Ideal for those who follow a low-carb eating plan, coconut flour works well as part of a weight loss program because it has high fiber, and foods with high fiber can help promote a feeling of fullness.

Whoever said “you can’t have your cake and eat it too” was definitely in the dark about the benefits of coconut flour! …

He does go on to talk about soy flour and explains that it NOT the healthy food we think it is …

The bad news is that large portions of commercially prepared gluten-free foods are made using soy flour. I cannot emphasize enough that soy is not the health food that you think it is. If you are still using soy, I urge you to consider how some studies are linking soy to serious health conditions including:

  • Increased risk of breast cancer in women, brain damage in both men and women, and abnormalities in infants
  • Contributions to thyroid especially in women
  • Weakening of your immune system
  • Severe, potentially fatal food allergies

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I highly recommend reading the full article by Dr. Mercola.  He includes much more information, charts, and study results on the Benefits of Coconut!

And if you are interested in more Coconut Products, check out the links below:

 

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