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EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
11/3/13 5:30 P

I read the article in the link. Did you read the comments following it? Did you look at the author's credentials? The article raises some interesting questions, but is no better (IMO) than any blog out in the inter-ether.

11/2/13 8:21 A


Or if eating less grain causes you to eat more vegetables, who exactly is getting hurt by that? Because it's certainly not your health.

KELLYFIT123 Posts: 1,312
11/2/13 8:02 A

Thought you all might like this article, written by a Canadian public health law researcher.

My thought is, even if it is the placebo effect, if you feel better, what does it matter?

11/2/13 7:55 A

Exotic - I admire your passion for this subject. I am someone who's health has greatly improved on a gluten free/grain free diet.

ANARIE Posts: 13,175
11/2/13 12:26 A

The OP asked, "Is the NIH also an unacceptable reference? "

No, the NIH is an acceptable reference-- but the article posted here is NOT FROM THE NIH.

It comes from "Nutrients," an open access online journal. Open access means exactly that; anyone can publish there. Usually, people who have a strong belief but no evidence to back it up, and whose articles are therefore rejected from peer-reviewed journals, publish in the open access ones so their work won't go to waste and so they can list a publication on their CV when applying for non-research positions where the screeners won't realize that it's not a peer-reviewed journal. One of the authors is affiliated with the community/continuing ed program of a university in Austria; I can't trace the other's affiliation.

If you read the article, it's written very much the way undergraduate students write papers. The authors present a thesis. They then present a review of literature listing articles that address a related topic. The articles fail to support (but do not always directly refute) their thesis. They then repeat the thesis at the end anyway, and say that further research is needed. It's good enough to get you a B in an undergraduate course, or a publication in an open-access journal.

The NIH's involvement is merely as the sponsors of PubMed, a medical news gathering site. The NIH are not involved in the research discussed in articles and do not peer-review them; they just make them searchable, and filter out those that are not in any way research-based. You won't find things from Prevention Magazine there, but you still have to check out the credibility of the journals. They're not in any way NIH-endorsed.

This article is actually interesting because it shows that even people who are thoroughly convinced that gluten causes health problems can't make the data support their conviction. That doesn't mean that gluten isn't a problem for a growing number of people-- but it does mean that gluten-free isn't the universal answer and may be unhealthy for those who are not gluten sensitive.

I don't have the references at hand, but those who are truly interested in the gluten debate could do some reading on recent research that has found that wheat today does NOT have more gluten or a different type of gluten from wheat hundreds of years ago. The best-supported hypothesis about the increase in gluten sensitivity is the same as in the case of peanut allergy and a lot of other auto=immune issues. It's the hygiene hypothesis-- the possibility that because our environment is so clean, we're exposed to very few real immune threats. We don't have to fight off e. coli and salmonella and all that stuff from the time we're babies anymore. The immune system wants a job to do, though, so if it doesn't get real challenges, it invents them and/or attacks itself. This is still a hypothesis, not a theory; it's still being tested. But there's a fair amount of support for it coming from studies like the ones that find lower rates of allergies among people who had pets as small children, for example.

Celiac disease exists. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity probably exists. But for anyone who doesn't have specific symptoms, it's simply not true that gluten is unhealthy, any more than lactose is unhealthy or peanuts are unhealthy.

(By the way, peanut allergy has skyrocketed over the past generation, far more so than gluten sensitivity. So how come no one has written a book claiming that nuts are going to kill us all? Maybe I should do that! Davis has gotten filthy rich off of "FrankenWheat;" think how much better "FrankenGoober" would sell!)

I thought about ignoring this thread altogether, because most people who don't have gluten sensitivity won't stick to a gluten-free diet very long if they do try it. But it's just wrong to frighten people about grains. There's solid evidence linking consumption of WHOLE grains (not twinkies, hamburger buns, and Lucky Charms, but actual *grain*) to lower rates of many forms of cancer-- primarily digestive cancers, but also breast, liver, and pancreatic. (Maybe prostate, too, but since I don't have one of those, I don't really remember when I read about that.)

And whenever someone makes a reference to "SAD" and insists that their way is better, they're twisting the discussion so it can't really be a discussion anymore. The "standard American diet" DOES suck rocks, obviously. That's because the "standard American diet" is something no one in their right mind would advocate. But people who throw that term around are trying to imply that the way Americans eat has something to do with the way Americans have been advised to eat. That's just not true. We didn't get fat because we followed the USDA guidelines. We got fat because we ignored them. Every set of national guidelines ever published, going back to 1894, said to limit sweets, watch fats, and eat a lot of vegetables. They've gone up and down on what type of fat, but the recommendation has almost always been for about 20-30% of calories. (The so-called "low fat push" of the 1980s actually said 30%, which isn't what I consider low fat at all.) And no one EVER told us that it was a good idea to let your 9-year-old drink 64 ounces of soda on the way to school in the morning. It wasn't the government who told us we could eat all the Snackwells cookies we wanted because they were fat free. If you take your nutritional advice from Nabisco and PepsiCo, then yeah, you might get fat.

Seriously, I have never met anyone who can honestly claim that they became obese while actually following the USDA or ADA guidelines. Whether it's MyPlate or the food pyramid or the 1917 Family Food Guide, the dietary recommendations have always been low sugar and high vegetable. As far back as 1916, the first time the government gave specific numbers, they said to get 30% of daily calories from non-starchy veggies and less than 10% from sugary foods. If we would just do that, I betcha it wouldn't matter much at all where the other 60% came from.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
11/1/13 5:51 P

For ANYone involved in differences of opinion - here or on any other thread I've posted into - I am also totally non-interested in "wars" about food or choices.

I eagerly welcome discussions and debates, because that's how I learn. I have no desire to change anyone's opinions, and never have. I guess it seems that that's my agenda - but truly, it's not!

I do want both sides of an issue to be heard, and if I know another side, I feel it's fair and useful to offer that information to others who may not have ever encountered it. I have plenty of time to peruse the 'net and find these things. I read scientific literature, (and, yes) blogs, and have a scarily large library of traditional books in my nutritional library. Others with more normal lives and schedules may not have the time to devote to such things. I only hope to open them to that information IF they choose to consider it. Not to make them change their minds if that doesn't suit their objectives.

The majority of members here will stick with the successful program that SP has initiated. It very clearly is working for many on the site. There are others for whom it would not be as successful, however. My adherence to the SAD got me to nearly 400 pounds. I'm simply not going back there - and I believe (note: an opinion - not an ultimate "truth") that there are a fair number of others for whom it also isn't the best possible option. But that's a personal decision. Decisions should be made with all the information and data available at hand. So I try to supplement the mass-market information with things I've found (on numerous and various levels of technically authoritative sites) to balance it.

I don't feel there IS "one style of eating." Nutrition and health are very individual, within broad specifications. This is why each person should have the option to measure their unique conditions against various methods of management. Differences of opinion don't necessarily equal "agendas."

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,912)
Fitness Minutes: (86,262)
Posts: 2,489
11/1/13 3:32 P

I really don't have much interested in engaging in info wars. Just had to "lol" at being referenced.

We all have our own personal journeys toward good health and which path we use to take us there is less important than the outcome. Some of us can achieve good health with grains (insert alternative food), some need to omit them from their diet. No one enjoys having one person's idea of healthy eating pushed on them with threats of disease and death. Fear mongering information such as this can be damaging and confusing (as a previous member pointed out) to new members who are just beginning their journey toward a healthy weight and good health. No one should feel pushed into following one style of eating (and a very strict one at that) in order to achieve this. This is a place for support, not disingenuous agenda pushing.

MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,250
11/1/13 2:52 P

The second link is a blog.

I hadn't seen the NIH study. I watch the news and one study tells you grains are evil. And then a second study published a month later by different people says the opposite. So I also take government studies with a grain of salt.

Definitely not on the same level, but when I did experiments in science. I could make the end results match the hypothesis. Depending on my bias. If I could do that, I would bet dollars to gluten free donuts that people smarter than me could do the same.

I don't want to argue with you though. If no grains works for you, then great. I find grains to be a wonderful part of my diet. Thats what works for me. There is one member that eats grains and can bench press Nicole Richie.

Good luck with your journey


SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,194
11/1/13 9:59 A

HOUNDLOVER1 I can't agree with you more. The forums are here to share info and since no 2 people are alike they should do what is best for them....

For me , I DO BELIEVE that blood sugar and insulin are responsible for the growth of fat specifically in the visceral organs.....and different people’s bodies handle sugars differently, even every diabetic is different, so it’s important to zero in on your own ideal carbohydrate for many people all carbs (including whole grains) will cause strong cravings to eat again an hour or two later, that is cravings for sugar or other carbohydrates. There is the evidence stacked up against whole grains which may be one of the primary culprits for the poor health of so many in America. If I followed All of what Spark says about insulin Resistance or diabetes, I would be a full blown diabetic....I took the advice of my Endocrinologist and Certified dietician and I have had normal sugar levels for 3 years now and lost 98 lbs. When I was insulin resistant I couldn't lose much and I would yo-yo right back, once I balanced my blood sugar..... weight loss was easy and all I did was walk an move every 20 minutes.

Just because something has not been studied does not make it untrue...and common sense tells you to.....Always discuss with your doctor what medical treatments and changes in your lifestyle will better your condition.

KELLYFIT123 Posts: 1,312
11/1/13 9:07 A

Everyone has their own ideas and limits when it comes to nutritional guidance.

My dietician mostly agrees with the MyPlate concept. She said that she recommends 1/4 to 1/3 of your plate with carbs/starches. She loves the "make half your plate veggies" recommendation.

My dietician suggested that I only consume 100 calories of sugar per day, no matter the source. That is much too limiting for me.

Personally, I tend to think that the SparkPeople dietician is a little old-school in her thinking, but I don't follow Spark religiously. I don't follow ANYTHING religiously. emoticon

HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
10/31/13 11:54 P

I agree that is is very helpful if the message boards are a place where people can share and discuss different experiences, research and even opinions. There are many different circumstances and we are all different people so we can't expect the same way of eating to work for everyone. I would be diabetic if I didn't eat low-carb. My husband can have all the carbs he wants and he would get neither diabetic nor overweight. Other people have sensitivities to dairy or grains and do best on a gluten-free or paleo-type diet. Yet others need to stay away from certain meats, nuts or from eggs because they are allergic. Learning about this is helpful, either for ourselves or our family members. We are what we eat. Anyone is free to read these threads or to only post and read on the spark teams that they have joined.
But for people who are doing something that isn't working, like repeatedly trying to lose weight and always gaining it back, or struggeling with with health issues, it may be best to look outside the box (or outside of Spark recommendations) for answers.
I would hope that anyone contributing to threads like this one is trying to be helpful, to themselves and to others. We are all here because we want to be healthier. Disagreement is ok if we are willing to learn, intelligent discussion is what a lot of research is based on.


ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
10/31/13 7:44 P

Thank you, Exotec, for the links, and for your continued research. I find it fascinating to see how the science of nutrition is progressing, and the "facts" of yesterday being either supported or found wanting. That's the wonderful thing about science --- it's the one place that being wrong is supposed to be considered a new beginning and not a bad thing!

I have never been a fan of "my way or the highway", whether it be supporting a so-called moderate lifestyle or one of the other ways. Having message boards like these that allow discussions on all viewpoints is very helpful, especially when information is supported by cited sources.

Personally, I currently don't appear to have any issues with grains, but there are folks out there with auto-immune and inflammation issues who can take information like the cited sources, discuss it with their health-care providers, and maybe find some hope where before they had none. They may find that the empirical evidence provided by their own experimentation contributes to their own better health as well as to advances in current knowledge.

It's also information like that provided in the cited sources which could give someone a direction for further research that might help them with other medical issues that they have, or problems with binge-eating, for example. Again, not something that I have a problem with myself, but I have taken tips from similar articles and personal experiences on other threads on the fora that have led me to drop my carb intake and increase my fat intake, leading to higher satiation and ease of sticking with the calorie restriction. I don't do anything even remotely approaching low-carb, but have taken the information and used it to make things better for me.

It's threads like this, and open discussion of the various "diets" and approaches that give people ideas that they can tweak to suit their own personal needs.

LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
10/31/13 7:07 P

I joined this site back in 7/2010 and I have to say that what I remember from when I joined was that the entire website seemed to give a clear message about the moderate dietary guidelines that it was recommending (and my registered dietitian agreed wholeheartedly with these guidelines). The articles and the messages posted by various members on the message boards backed up the Spark People recommendations. I really appreciated the clear message. It was a great help to me and I will always be profoundly grateful. It changed my life.

These days, the message that's being sent is horribly mixed and I'm sure that a lot of members are confused and think that a lot of the alternative diets proposed/endorsed by members on these boards are what is recommended by Spark People. They are also undoubtedly misled by the good amount of pseudoscience which is now posted, by members, on a daily basis on the message boards. If, when I first joined Spark People, things had been like they are now (with the mixed message given by these message boards), I probably would have been confused and I think there's a very good chance that I would have not succeeded in losing almost 100 lbs.

In any case...
What the owners of this site allow is up to them. It is a private site and they are free to allow or disallow whatever they want. It is perfectly okay for them to choose what kind of stuff (links, opinions, debates, etc.) they want posted.

Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 11/2/2013 (13:58)
EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
10/31/13 6:04 P

Well, I suppose everyone has their pet resources. The sites I mentioned included not only the Huffington Post (which is not my first line of information, but I've seen it cited and referenced here many times, so it seemed appropriate enough to use in this case), but also another nutritional site AND the NIH.
Is the NIH also an unacceptable reference?

As for any posts here, from myself or from any others, they represent opinion and our own explorations into nutrition. They're not being forced upon others, nor do I (especially not myself) expect others to just swallow them without doing a bit of self-education themselves. If someone decides it's valid or valuable to them, good. If they decide they can't accept that info, whether due to content or source or predisposition or any other reason, that's okay too. What's *NOT* okay is for only one "line" to be acceptable for conversation or debate, and to suppress any other not on that agenda. We are thinking beings. We deserve the right to use our brains, whoever agrees or disagrees. (And I find both agreement or disagreement to be perfectly acceptable in equal proportion. I'm just offering a viewpoint which is apparently not unique to me)

However, due to admonitions I've received from staff, I have deleted significant portions of my original post - for reasons explained here:
"I saw your post about wheat gluten. Our copyright guidelines state that you can post a few sentences of something from another source, but then must link to the source for people to click through and read more. So I have to ask that you edit the post to comply with this policy."
"If you see posts that violate our copyright policy, you're welcome to report them and we'll ask those members to make the same edits."
"Sorry, I should have looked at your post before my last response. Like I said before, you can only post a few sentences of something, then must link to the rest. Too much of these resources have been copied and pasted, so I need you to edit the post. Otherwise, I'll have to remove it."

For others who actually want to know some of the information now available, please follow the links.

Edited by: EXOTEC at: 10/31/2013 (18:20)
MANDIETERRIER1 Posts: 17,250
10/31/13 4:14 P

The Huffington Post is like the Drudge Report and must be taken with a grain of salt.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
10/31/13 4:11 P

I think this kind of my way or the highway evangelism is extremely NON helpful to a general weight loss site.

HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
10/31/13 1:52 P

Thank you for drawing attention to this. I know it will save lives. emoticon


EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
10/31/13 10:33 A

** I have been duly warned that I am in probable violation of SP guidelines about posting links to my resources. I don't find those citations in other posts, but they evidently apply to me. So, for your further reading, the ENTIRE pages may be accessed via the following links:

I'm anticipating now that my sources will be suspect. Even the NIH one at the end. **
Other Sparkers be alerted to guidelines: two sentences of quote only. Cited.

This *WAS* a cut-n-paste from a couple sources on wheat and gluten and their effects in our bodies.

We’re still having “healthy whole grains” promoted to us by our nutritional experts, based (I presume?) on data which was current 20 or more years ago, but – as is the usual case in research – has been updated with new knowledge and studies.

Many will dismiss these things based upon what they “already know” and are convinced of regarding wheat, gluten, and those “healthy guidelines.” But for others who would hear more recent data, I offer these pieces, from a variety of sources, for consideration.

I hope it raises enough interest for you to continue your own data mining.
Please note link at the end.
The problems with wheat are real [and] scientifically research [shows] that adverse immune reactions to gluten may result from problems in very different parts of the immune system than those implicated in celiac disease.
Dr. Alessio Fasano, a celiac expert from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, discovered a protein made in the intestine called "zonulin" that...breaks up the tight junctions or cement between the intestinal cells that normally protect your immune system from ...foreign proteins in food leaking across the intestinal if you have a "leaky gut," you will get inflammation throughout your whole body and a whole list of symptoms and diseases.

…and a link to a more scientific article from the NIH:

Edited by: EXOTEC at: 10/31/2013 (20:35)
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