Is There A Downside To Being Gluten-Free?
Going gluten-free can be life-changing for some but there is a downside. According to Dr. Peter H. R. Green, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, people who eat a gluten-free diet can easily develop vitamin and mineral deficiencies, especially iron and B vitamins. These deficiencies can be further exacerbated from malabsorption due to damage to the small intestine. The multitude of gluten-free options in grocery stores are often made of ingredients void of nutrients. Breads, cereals, cookies and snack foods are made primarily of rice flours and starches and an excess of fat, sugar and salt as they attempt to replicate wheat products. Unlike regular treats made with white flour (which is fortified to replace the nutrients removed during processing), gluten-free ingredients are not fortified so can literally have no nutritional value whatsoever.
Another pitfall of eating a gluten-free diet is that rice is the primary substitute. Rice flour is the number one flour alternative in gluten-free baked goods. Suzanne Simpson, RD, of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University cautions patients: 'Rice doesn't have a lot of nutritional value. It doesn't have a lot of fiber or protein; it is basically just carbs. Most of the gluten-free breads, pasta, tortillas, cookies and flour mixes contain rice. And people eat rice on top of it."
She advises that people do not use rice pasta and minimize their rice intake since it is so prevalent in gluten-free products.
Researchers have additionally found high levels of arsenic in rice products, as well as cadmium and mercury. Other heavy metals such as tin and lead have also been found in gluten-free foods and flours.
Dr. Green has seen a greater number of celiac patients develop neurological symptoms over the years after starting a gluten-free diet and has concluded that it may be due to a manifestation of heavy metal toxicity.
A recent study showed there was four times the mercury in blood levels of celiac patients following a gluten-free diet. Another study found elevated blood levels of mercury, lead and cadmium and urinary levels of tin and arsenic in people eating a gluten-free diet.
It is for all these reasons that we created Lucky Star Bread. Please visit our 'Ingredients' page to see all the vitamins, minerals and other
healthy attributes of our bread.
Our mission is to feed those who are challenged by the question of what to eat and to give them truly nourishing, nutrient-dense alternatives to the empty products on grocery store shelves.
It is with our deepest commitment that we serve this mission.