How nutritious is the gluten-free diet?It seems to be a common assumption that the less processed the food is, the greater the nutritional benefits. Why? Well for instance, processed foods are often loaded with artificial preservatives, sodium, salt and sugar in order to make them last longer.
My golden rule for working out how processed the food is? The more ingredients listed, the more the item is processed. And the more possibilities that derivatives of gluten are hiding in the ingredients list!
However, being on a gluten-free diet means that most processed foods are automatically ruled out. Which leads me to my next question - does being on a gluten-free diet mean that you are leading a healthier lifestyle and are you getting all the nutrition you need?
Dr Sue Shepherd, an Advanced Accredited Practicing Dietician and Accredited Nutritionist, posed this very question at a Health Seminar I attended recently, hosted by Coeliac Queensland. From her own studies, Dr Shepherd found that 64% of patients studied with celiac disease had a deficiency of more than one micronutrient. The most commmon micronutrient deficiencies were iron (15%), folate (11%), zinc (28%) and Vitamin D (46%). Furthermore, these deficiencies were more common in her female patients. This means that even though these patients were now following a gluten-free diet, many still needed additional supplements until their blood tests returned to 'normal' levels.
For newly diagnosed celiacs, I recommend trying CeliAct, which is the only specially formulated nutritional supplement for celiac disease, which complements the gluten-free diet. CeliAct provides your body with the specific nutrients and compounds to minimise the risk of the complications that people with celiac disease suffer from the most. Plus you only need one tablet, saving yourself from greater expense and less room in yuor bathroom cabinet and there is no foul after-taste! So click your way to good health now by clicking on the photo below and you can have CeliAct delivered straight to your doorstep, while being assured that you are getting all the nutrients your body deserves!
Dr Shepherd recommends that once the diagnosis of celiac disease has been made, the following tests be undertaken every three months: full blood examination, iron studies, folate, vitamin B12, zinc, vitamin D levels and bone mineral density. People with celiac disease are often at greater risk of lactose intolerance, fructose malabsorption, problems with their thyroid gland (underactive, overactive) and diabetes, which can also be investigated if symptoms are persisting. So make sure you do get your blood tested every three months for at least the first year of being diagnosed, because let's face it, if you're celiac, you already have enough depressing statistics to consider (double the risk of osteoporosis, twenty times higher rates of anemia, and forty times greater risk of intestinal cancer than the general public being the major ones)! At least regular blood test results can give you some positive news along the way with your new diet and you can see you are taking hold of your future.