The Dilemma of the Gluten-Free Diet

A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that eating gluten-free is nearly impossible, underscoring the need for better treatments for patients with celiac disease.

Experts say up to 1% of the global population has celiac disease, an autoimmune condition in which people develop an immune reaction to gluten. Gluten is a protein that appears in any food containing wheat, barley, and rye. The immune system reaction results in inflammation and damage in the lining of the small intestine, which can lead to medical complications, such as acute stomach pain and failure to absorb nutrients.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study used data from three prior clinical trials to estimate how much gluten 246 celiac patients were ingesting. The gluten measurements were based on either a stool or urine sample.

The study found that on average patients were ingesting 200 to 250 milligrams of gluten a day, says Jack Syage, CEO of immunogens, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based biotechnology company, and first author on the study. Someone without celiac disease eats about 7,500 to 10,000 milligrams of gluten a day.

Continue Reading at Wall Street Journal

What Diet Best Lowers Phthalate Exposure?

Phthalates are hormone-disrupting plastics chemicals linked to a number of adverse health effects, such as disturbing infant and child development, and, in adults, may affect reproductive health in men and endometriosis in women, and is associated with increased abdominal fat in both.

What is the most major exposure source? Diet. If you have people stop eating for a few days, you get a significant drop in the amount of phthalates spilling out in their urine. One can only fast for so long, though. Thankfully, we can see similar drops just from eating a plant-based diet for a few days, which gives us a clue as to where most phthalates are found.

The highest levels are found in meats, fats, and dairy. Poultry consistently comes out as being the most contaminated across the board with some of the highest levels ever reported, though there are geographic exceptions.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s reference dose, which is like the maximum acceptable threshold, is 20 µg/kg-day, based on liver risk. Europe places their maximum daily intake for testicular toxicity at 50 µg/kg-day. So a typical infant diet exceeds the EPA’s safety level, “while a diet high in meat and dairy was over this threshold by approximately four times.

Read the full article at Care 2

Better Diet Data Via Tooth-Mounted Sensors

In First World countries, where famine is unheard of, people are instead eating themselves to death.

Oftentimes, diet studies rely on self-reported surveys and journals that are hostage to the whims of each participant. People forget. People feel self-conscious about their food choices and may fudge (pun intended) the data. However, a new sensor that fits on a person’s tooth could cut out this unpredictable variable—human nature— altogether.

Researchers from Tufts University School of Engineering designed a tiny sensor that, when stuck to a tooth, can wirelessly relay precise information about glucose, alcohol and salt intake. When the device comes in contact with salt, for example, its electrical properties shift, causing its other components to absorb and transmit different radiofrequency wavelengths unique to each chemical or nutrient. That information is then beamed to a mobile device for recording.

“In theory we can modify the bioresponsive layer in these sensors to target other chemicals – we are really limited only by our creativity,” says Fiorenzo Omenetto, an author on the study, which was published recently in the journal Advanced Materials. If you can put it in your mouth, it appears Omenetto and his team can measure it.

Discover

Is A Gluten-free Diet Good For You — If There’s NO Medical Reason For It?

If a doctor has diagnosed you with Celiac Disease, an allergy or another condition that requires you to avoid wheat or gluten, you should heed their advice on what to eat. A diagnosis like that could mean eating gluten is causing harm.

Gluten-free “becomes this synonym for health for people, and that’s actually very wrong. Just because it says ‘gluten-free’ does not mean it’s healthy,” said Dawn Jackson Blatner, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who works with the Chicago Cubs.

Simply grabbing the gluten-free versions of the packaged food you normally buy won’t provide you any benefits, Blatner said.

Additionally, eating a needlessly restrictive diet can impact the function of your gastrointestinal system, she added.

“The diversity of our diet helps the microbiome in the gut,” she said.

So how do you know if you need to avoid gluten? Pay attention to what you eat and how you feel afterward.

Continue Reading in Chicago Sun-Times

Ketogenic Diet: Does It Make You Feel Athlete?

A recent study, published in the journal Sports, poses a different question: Can the ketogenic diet make you a better athlete? A team based at the School of Kinesiology at Auburn University asked 12 participants to partake in a 12-week study to measure body composition, metabolic, and performance parameters in CrossFit practitioners.

The researchers wanted to better understand how the ketogenic diet affects resistance training, as a previous study with mice demonstrated that a low-carbohydrate diet reduces muscle mass. The authors addressed this controversy by pointing to their own six-week study with mice, noting that a ketogenic diet does not impair muscle glycogen levels or affect muscle protein synthesis in comparison to an isocaloric Western diet (consuming the same quantity of calories from fats, proteins, and carbohydrates each day).

For this study, seven volunteers in the ketogenic group were asked to return food logs after being given basic keto dietary guidelines. Only four complied, but given blood ketone levels measured in abstaining volunteers, researchers were confident they’d followed the diet for the duration of the study. The control group did not have to keep track of food intake.

Read the full article at Big Think

Dementia Diet – Avoid These Foods to PREVENT Alzheimer’s Disease

Dementia is the name given to a group of symptoms linked to a loss of brain function, according to the NHS.

“Research has shown that following the MIND diet even a moderate amount is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

“The MIND diet encourages limiting your consumption of butter and margarine, cheese, red meat, fried food, pastries, and sweets because they contain large amounts of saturated fat and trans fat.”

There’s no certain way to prevent dementia, but some lifestyle changes can help to lower your risk of the condition.

Those most at risk of dementia are the elderly, and those with lower levels of education, the NHS said.

A diet high in saturated fat, salt and sugar can increase your risk of dementia.

Regular exercise may help to prevent a neurodegenerative condition, it added.

Full article at Express UK

Study: Heart Health Starts With Diet

Focusing on your heart starts with what you eat.

“A high fiber diet is very good for your heart,” stated Elyse Sartor, Clinical Outpatient Dietitian with Northside Hospital.

Legumes such as beans, lentils, chickpeas and black-eyed peas are full of soluble fiber, acting like a sponge to soak up the bad LDL cholesterol.

“Your raw vegetables, your cooked vegetables are also going to be good for fiber. You don’t find any fiber in animal products. So a heart-healthy diet is going to be lots and lots of plants,” Sartor said.

Fatty fish like salmon is backed with long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids.

These compounds help lower blood pressure, make blood less likely to clot and keep blood vessels healthy.

But, balance is key, so don’t focus on eating one or two healthy foods and ignore the rest of your diet.

Read the full article at News 8

Can A Plant-based Diet ‘Reverse’ Heart Disease?

Could eating a strict low-fat vegetarian or vegan diet really ‘reverse’ coronary heart disease, and if so should everyone be eating this way?

BHF dietitian Victoria Taylor says:

The idea that a low-fat vegetarian or vegan diet could ‘reverse’ heart disease has been circulating for more than 20 years. This way of eating has become more popular in the last couple of years. It has lots of benefits, but the truth is more complex than headlines suggest.

A study published in 2014 looked at 198 patients to further investigate whether eating a strict plant-based diet could stop or reverse heart disease. It found of the 177 patients who stuck to the diet, the majority reported a reduction in symptoms and 22 percent had disease reversal confirmed by test results. But that study didn’t just rule out animal products – it also cut out added oils, processed foods, sugar, refined carbohydrates, excess salt, fruit juice, avocado, and nuts. Physical activity was also encouraged and prescribed medication continued.

Should I switch to a plant-based diet?

We do know that a Mediterranean-style diet, which includes plenty of fruit, veg, pulses and fish, and only small amounts of meat, may be easier to follow than a strictly plant-based diet. It’s also linked to lower rates of heart disease than a conventional Western diet.

Remember, a plant-based diet isn’t automatically healthy. Too much-saturated fat, sugar, and salt from any source can harm your health. There is an increasing number of manufactured plant-based snack foods available, from cupcakes and coconut yogurts to vegan burgers, pizzas, and nuggets. It’s still important to read food labels and understand what you are eating.

British Heart Foundation

The Keto Meal Plan for Beginners

So you’ve decided you want to try out the high-fat, low-carb diet, better-known as the fat-burning ketogenic diet. Whether it’s to lose weight, have more energy, or fuel workouts differently, going keto is a popular choice right now. But figuring out a keto meal plan on your own is no easy feat, especially since eating a diet super high in fats doesn’t come naturally to many people who are accustomed to the traditionally carb-heavy American diet.

What’s more, it’s especially important to make sure your diet is well-planned when you’re eating keto-style, because the foods you can choose from are limited. In addition to checking in with a dietitian if you’re able, Stefanski recommends that you “talk to your doctor and make sure she or he is aware that you’ll be starting a diet that completely changes how your body metabolizes energy.”

One area where food tracking can be especially helpful, though, is ensuring that you’re hitting the right ratios of macronutrients—protein, carbs, and fat. “The most researched version of the ketogenic diet derives 70 percent of calories from healthy fats, 20 percent from protein, and only 10 percent from carbs,” explains Charles Passler, D.C., nutritionist, and founder of Pure Change.

Lastly, if you’re active, you might need to make some adjustments to take that into account. “For the first one to two weeks, temporarily reducing your exercise load can be helpful as your body adjusts to being in ketosis,” he says. “Additionally, for those who have an intense workout schedule, carb cycling may be a good option.” Carb cycling essentially means you’ll increase your carb intake on the days you’re doing exercise, ideally just two to three days per week.

Full article in Shape

Improving Your Diet Can Also Improve Your Skin

Revamping our eating habits can make for a healthier body. Did you know that making a few key changes to your diet could help to improve the look and feel of your skin, too?

Here are some ways that adjusting your eating habits can help you achieve a brighter, more even, and healthier-looking complexion:

▪ Sugar contributes to signs of aging.

Consuming too much sugar isn’t just bad for our waistlines; it can also contribute to signs of aging on our skin, including lines, wrinkles, and age spots. That’s because sugar triggers a chemical process called glycation within your body.

▪ Vitamin A boosts collagen.

Vitamin A is found in many different foods, including carrots, sweet potatoes, and kale. This vitamin is a type of retinoid, which encourages collagen production within your skin and turns “good” anti-aging genes on while turning “bad” anti-aging genes off.

▪ Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant.

Antioxidants are some of the most beneficial skin care ingredients that you can both apply topically and ingest through food sources and supplements to fight free radicals and achieve a brighter, healthier-looking complexion.

Read more at Miami Herald