Posted 4:58 PM 5/17/2012 : Smart Choices: Diet may help against celiac disease
TUCSON - May is Celiac Disease Awareness month. Today on "Smart Choices," our nutrition contributor, Hana Feeney, stopped by with some foods that may help mitigate this disease.
What is celiac disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the small intestine when a person consumes gluten.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley and rye. People with celiac disease have to avoid all forms and all amounts of wheat, barley, and rye.
How common is celiac disease?
About 1 in 100 people have celiac disease, but 95% of those people have not been diagnosed. Going "gluten-free" is a popular right now, and a part of many diet trends, like the Paleo diet and elimination diets or cleansing diets. Many of people who are simply trying out a gluten-free diet are noticing significant improvements in their health that may actually be related to celiac disease.
Try new-to-you gluten-free grains
-Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley and rye; so, a gluten-free diet excludes these three grains and any food made from them. Most of the gluten in our typical American diet comes from processed foods, such as wheat pasta, crackers and bread.
-You can find plenty of breads and pastas made from gluten-free grains, but these are necessary "good" for you. They are highly processed and often worse for you compared to the gluten-containing options.
-For those who have celiac, exploring gluten-free whole grains is necessary for a healthful diet, and for those who don't have celiac, it's a fun and interesting way to add positive nutrition to your diet.
-Compared to wheat, barley and rye, these gluten-free grains are higher in nutrients that are typically low in most American diets, such as fiber, magnesium, calcium and antioxidants compared to wheat, barley and rye-which makes these grains healthful additions to everyone's diet.
o Buckwheat or kasha
-People with celiac need to be sure that all of these grains, which are naturally gluten-free, come from gluten-free facilities. Those who do not have celiac do not need to exert this level of diligent adherence to a gluten-free diet; that is another example of why it is so important to know whether or not you have celiac.
-A clear diagnosis of celiac is hard to come by for many people. Sometimes you must live like you have celiac even if you haven't had a firm diagnosis in order to protect yourself from continuing medical problems.
Gluten-free recipes made with above grains
To learn more about gluten-free living, and get the recipes for these yummy gluten-free grains, check out www.NourishingResults.com.
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