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Oct/Nov 2009 Issue
Focus on Fiber When Eating A Gluten-Free Diet
Are you eating gluten free? If so, you may not be getting all the nutrients you need. Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston examined the eating patterns of 119 study participants with celiac disease and discovered that their gluten-free diet was consistently deficient in iron, B vitamins, calcium and vitamin Dand grossly lacking in fiber. Why is the gluten-free diet so vulnerable to nutritional insufficiency? Much of the blame lies in the processed foods we eat. Many gluten-free commercial products contain alternative grains that have been refined and stripped of essential nutrients, particularly the fiber. Fiber is an indigestible component of plant cells. It's critical to healthy bowel function, promoting regularity and preventing constipation, hemorrhoids and colon cancer. It also offers other important benefits, such as managing body weight, decreasing cholesterol levels and aiding in the prevention of heart disease and diabetes.
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