Gluten-free ginger cookies. *MCT photo
Gluten-free ginger cookies. *MCT photo

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 8: A gluten-free diet can be beneficial to persons living with Type 2 diabetes for a number of reasons.

Many Type 2s live with gluten sensitivities and are unaware of the fact that they have an intolerance to products containing gluten.  Gluten can have an adverse effect on other health issues for Type 2s like rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation of the nervous system, peripheral neuropathies, eczema, psoriasis, sinusitis, allergies and vertigo.

Gluten also affects persons living with autism, ADHD and fibromyalgia.  Other symptoms of gluten intolerance is gas and bloating, chronic diarrhea or constipation, anaemia, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, skin rashes and itchy skin, mood swings and anxiety.

If our ancestors consumed wheat thousands of years ago and did not incur health issues, why are there so many people suffering with gluten intolerance today?  One of the major reasons cited for gluten intolerance in the 21st Century is Genetically Modified foods. 

A statement released from the American Academy of Environmental Medicine says, “Genetically Modified foods have not been properly tested and pose a serious health risk.  There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects.  There is causation as defined by recognized scientific criteria.”  The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) is encouraging physicians to educate patients, health care professionals and the community on how to avoid GM foods.

A research paper produced by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine states “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM foods, including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, insulin regulation and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.” The Center for Disease Control reports it is the types of foods we consume that increase the risk for illness in the United States. Many European countries have placed strict restrictions on American packaged foods containing GMOs.  Presently there are over 30 countries worldwide that have banned Genetically Modified foods.  Gluten is said to increase inflammation. Anything that increases inflammation causes insulin resistance, when that occurs, the body has to produce more insulin to get more blood sugar and this process can cause you to gain weight.

Dr Mehmet Oz is one of the physicians leading the fight against the use of foods containing GMOs.  Dr Oz is joined by fellow physicians Dr Amy Dean a Michigan internal medicine specialist, Dr John Boyles an allergy specialist from Ohio and biologist Dr David Schubert. Studies have confirmed that approximately 80 per cent of all packaged foods contain GM ingredients and are high in gluten. 

A quick way to shed unwanted pounds for persons living with Type 2 diabetes is to reduce or eliminate foods that contain gluten in the diet. Start with foods like breads, pastries and pasta dishes. You may want to eliminate one food at a time just to get started or reduce portion sizes in these food groups.  Incorporating an exercise routine along with your gluten free programme pushes the fat burning needle to the max and will get you quicker results.

Try a gluten free food plan for 7 days and keep a record of the changes you notice in your health.  You have nothing to lose but a few pounds.  If you notice significant changes in your health, you may want to continue on for a while longer with the programme.

It is best if you plan to do the programme ahead of time and start by cleaning out your refrigerator and cupboard.  Get rid of all the tempting, unhealthy snack foods to avoid a relapse back into your old eating habits.  You may want to try a gluten free recipe.

Kuni Frith-Black is executive officer of the Bermuda Diabetes Association

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 3 cups gluten free flour mix
  • 2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 large well beaten egg
  • 1/4 cup rice milk

Directions:

  • Cream margarine and sugar together, add beaten egg, rice milk and molasses, combine until smooth and creamy. Add all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Dough will be soft and sticky so refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Using a teaspoon, spoon dough out onto a nonstick cookie sheet or a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in balls.  Press dough out with fingers or a fork into a round shape.  If dough is too sticky use some of the gluten free flour mixture to press the cookie dough out.
  • Bake at 350°F for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool before serving and store in an airtight container.