Gluten-free and metal heavy
Arsenic, lead, and mercury oh my!-
Dr. Jingwen Huang obtained her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Nutrition and Food Science at Florida State University in 2018.
Arsenic, Lead and Mercury Levels Are Higher on a Gluten-free Diet.
It's amazing how many people are going gluten-free (GF) thinking it's a healthier diet. But it may not be. We already reported how GF foods for kids are high in sugar, just like non-GF foods for kids, and how eliminating gluten also lowers protein, vitamins and could impact growth for kids. Similarly, replacing healthy whole grains with gluten-free alternatives can lower total dietary fiber, protein, and vitamins.
Another reason: GF diets may contain higher levels of toxic metals. A recent study from the Mayo Clinic (S Raehsler, Clinical Gastro Hep 2018) found higher blood levels for lead, mercury and cadmium in 115 people on a GF diet compared to over 11,000 others in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They also had toxic levels of arsenic in their urine.
The higher levels of metal in the body could be due to a higher consumption of rice, fish and shellfish in the diet. Rice has been shown to have trace amounts of arsenic, which is a problem because many GF substitutes are made with rice. Additionally, the researchers believed that the lower levels of protein in GF could also lead to the higher levels of the toxic metals in the body.
For someone with true celiac disease a GF diet is a must, but it's important for others to realize that other options may be better. And either way, we need to be careful about what we choose to eat.
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