New research finds that almost one in four adolescents in the United States have diabetes or pre-diabetes, according to The New York Times. These are not children with juvenile diabetes but full-on type 2 diabetes. More than 25 million adults already have diabetes and 79 million may have prediabetes, yet few people consider a diabetes diet. There is a definite correlation between diet and diabetes symptoms. Studies suggest that eating a gluten-free diet without dairy could be good for diabetes and celiac disease, a condition characterized by an allergy to gluten.
Diabetes and celiacThe only treatment for celiac disease is following a gluten-free diet. Gluten is a protein found in most grains, including wheat, barely and rye. Adopting a gluten-free diet relieves symptoms in people with celiac and those who are sensitive to gluten, yet a study published in Diabetologia journal reports that diabetics should consider a gluten-free diet too.
The study observed people with type 2 diabetes on the Paleo diet versus the Mediterranean diet. The Paleo diet calls for no grains, no dairy, no salt. It recommends fruits, vegetables, nuts, seafood and lean meats. The diet is based on how early man ate and discourages any processed foods. The Mediterranean diet also allows fruits, vegetables, seafood and lean meats. The main difference is that the Mediterranean diet recommends unrefined grains, such as whole grain products. A little dairy is also acceptable on the diet.
The results of this study found that people on the Mediterranean diet had very little, if any, improvement in diabetes symptoms. The group who followed the Paleo diet experienced a reverse in diabetes symptoms, showing a clear correlation between a gluten-free diet and diabetes.
The Mediterranean group experienced a 7 percent lower rise in glucose in response to carbohydrate intake whereas the Paleolithic group saw a 26 percent reduction. The group who ate the gluten-free diet Paleo diet had normal glucose levels at the conclusion of the study.
Diet and diabetesOnly a decade ago the prevalence of type 2 diabetes among children aged 12 to 19 was low. Now it is growing at an alarming rate. Also, experts are finding that diabetes progresses more quickly in children than adults, plus is more difficult to treat.
Adopting a diabetes diet without grains or dairy could help many of the children and adults who are at risk for developing diabetes. It would also benefit people with celiac disease, many of whom have no idea that they have the condition. Experts estimate that around 15 percent of people in the US have some form of gluten sensitivity.
Perhaps the people who could most benefit from a gluten-free diet are people with type 1 diabetes. Experts estimate that around 10 percent of people with type 1 diabetes also have celiac disease. This does not account for how many diabetics may also have a mild to moderate gluten intolerance.
Diabetes dietEliminating dairy as part of a diabetes diet is fairly easy. With the exception of whey, casein and a few other ingredients that do not sound like they are dairy-derived, gluten-containing ingredients and products with hidden gluten are much harder to identify. Many salad dressings, broths, candies, condiments, sauces, soy products and mixes have gluten.
Adopting a gluten-free diet comes with the price of time to learn all the possible gluten foods and alternatives. However, a gluten-free diet may be the best thing for someone with diabetes and celiac disease.
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About the author:
Sarka-Jonae Miller is a health writer and novelist. She was certified as a personal fitness trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. She also worked as a massage therapist, group exercise instructor and assistant martial arts instructor.
Miller's premiere novel, "Between Boyfriends," was recently published http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006Q6TSCS/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img