Sourced from: Infinite Health Blog, by Dr. Davis,
originally posted on the Wheat Belly Blog: 2011-08-08
The Holy Grail:
Gluten-free . . . but low-carb
Thanks to the inventiveness of food manufacturers
and people with celiac disease, there is no shortage of foods and recipes
devoted to the gluten-free concept. Gluten-free cookies, pretzels, pizza,
etc., all marketed to the gluten-free community.
Problem: The cornstarch, potato
starch, tapioca starch, and rice starch–dried, powdered
starches–are among the very short list of foods that increase
blood sugar higher than even wheat products. Blood sugars go higher
after gluten-free foods than after table sugar, higher than candy bars.
Repeated high blood sugars trigger repeated high
insulin which, in turn, generates insulin resistance. This is followed by
growth of visceral fat. We can no longer call it a “wheat belly”–“gluten-free belly”
somehow lacks a clever ring, but that is precisely what happens. Repetitive
high blood sugars also provoke the process of glycation that
leads to cataracts, arthritis in both weight-bearing and
non-weight-bearing joints, heart disease vis small LDL creation,
high triglycerides, high blood pressure, and accelerated aging.
At least once a week, a patient will come back to
the office who has failed to hear me say (or see it on my office handout
on how to eat wheat-free) that gluten-free foods should be
avoided. Instead, they eliminate wheat and seek out gluten-free
foods. They fail to lose weight, often gaining a few pounds instead; fail
to reduce measures of blood sugar like fasting glucose and HbA1c; fail to
reduce heart disease-causing small LDL particles and triglycerides.
Sure, they may obtain relief from arthritis, asthma, and intestinal
complaints since they’ve avoided gluten, gliadin, and wheat lectins,
but the awful blood sugar-increasing effects of gluten-free foods
essentially booby trapped their efforts.
So the real answer is to follow an eating program
that is wheat/gluten-free but low-carbohydrate.
I commonly tell most adults that they should limit daily carbohydrate
intake to 50 grams per day or less (less if extremely insulin resistant
and/or carb-sensitive; more if very fit, lean, and relatively
carb-insensitive–more on these distinctions to come or see my many,
many posts on this in my Heart Scan Blog (became Cureality blog in 2012; use Inner Circle
credentials to access). A gluten-free sandwich alone would
blow this limit out of the water.
So, yes, wheat- and gluten-free . . . but
low-carb for full health benefits.