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9 New (Yet Very Old!) Gluten-Free Grains

amaranth

Whether you’re going gluten-free and need a change of pace from quinoa and potatoes, or you’re just looking to add more nutrient-dense grains to your dinner routine, you’ve got more options than you may have thought! Here are nine new-to-you (yet very old!) options you’ve probably never heard of or tried. They are certainly worth becoming more familiar!

1. Amaranth

Aztecs ate amaranth for thousands of years–and for good reason! One cup of cooked amaranth has 9 grams of protein and 29% of your daily iron.

How to Eat It: Boil one cup grains in 6 cups water for 40 minutes, then drain off excess water. Use it in tabouli salad instead of bulgur, or with bananas and cinnamon as an alternative to oatmeal.

2. Buckwheat

Believe it or not, there is no wheat found in buckwheat. It’s actually a fruit seed originally from China. Kasha is the roasted kernel form that we eat. One cooked cup has only 155 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 5 grams of fiber to keep you feeling full.

How to Eat It: Stir-fry 100% buckwheat (soba) noodles with shrimp and veggies, or cook buckwheat groats (kasha) like rice and add lemon, olive oil, and fresh herbs.
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5 Reasons Why Most Of Us Should NOT Go Gluten-Free

By Layne Lieberman, RD, Culinary Nutritionist and author of “Beyond The Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of The Super-Healthy”

A small percentage of the population that greatly benefit from following a gluten-free: These are the estimated 1 to 2 percent of people who have been diagnosed with celiac disease and the 0.2 to 0.4 percent who suffers from wheat allergy.

So what about the rest of us, the 98% of the population that hasn’t been diagnosed with celiac disease or a wheat allergy?

grains

Some of the biggest diet buzzwords right now are gluten-intolerance or gluten-sensitivity but there’s no test to determine if an individual actually has this. The truth is, the gluten-free movement has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Despite what’s written in fear-mongering books like “Grain Brain” and “Wheat Belly”, for most of the population there is no reason to go 100% gluten-free. (I do, however, strongly support eliminating  processed foods like white bread, cookies, chips, pretzels, and cakes.)

Here’s why most of us should NOT be on a gluten-free diet:

  1. Gluten-free diets recommend substituting rice for wheat. This may not be a good idea in the long-term. Rice absorbs arsenic (and cadmium) from the ground. Small quantities in the diet are of no concern. But when rice (or rice flour) is a staple, as recommended in some gluten-free diets, it can be troublesome and may even result in poisoning.
  2.  Restaurant and supermarket gluten-free offerings can be highly processed and  packed with calories, sugar, salt and fat. One half of an Uno Chicago Grill Gluten-Free Pepperoni Pizza has 500 calories, 21 grams of fat, 1040 milligrams of sodium and 6 grams of sugar. Yikes!
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