Thursday, November 13, 2014

And the Award for 'Worst Nutrition Advice on the Internets' Goes to . . .

USA Triathlon and their article on how we should all eat more bread and wheat and gluten and white flour.  I don't even know where to start with this, makes my head want to explode.  And the author is a coach and registered dietician which only adds to my conviction that registered dieticians are the absolute very last people we should be listening to.  Her main argument is that bread contains B vitamins, iron and fiber and we all need those things.  And it's true that bread contains those things if the flour has been enriched.  But you know what else contains those things?  Vegetables.  And they contain about 3-4 times the amount that bread has.  The bread I used to buy, Rudy's Organic Colorado Cracked Wheat, contains 6% US RDA of iron and 8% fiber.  A cup of cooked spinach contains 36% iron and 17% fiber plus a whole lot of other vitamins and minerals and other good stuffs.  And no gluten.  Various types of meats and seafood are also way higher in iron and B vitamins, some like liver and mollusks provide 129-155% iron.  And no gluten.

Which brings me to perhaps the most aggravating claim in the article, that, "Most of us (97 percent) digest wheat and its protein, gluten, just fine," when in fact 0% of us digest wheat gluten.  This week I've been immersing myself in free online lectures at the Autoimmune Summit and pretty much every single expert lists giving up gluten as the number one thing you can do to help with an autoimmune disease.  And so far pretty much all the practitioners I've heard speak have said that all their patients with autoimmune diseases also have gluten sensitivity (and not necessarily celiac disease which very few people have).  The only lab in the country that tests extensively for gluten sensitivity is Cyrex and it's mostly functional medicine doctors that order these tests, not conventional MD's.  You can have gluten sensitivity and not have GI symptoms.  And you maybe can tolerate gluten until suddenly maybe you can't.  I know, people love to roll their eyes when you mention gluten.  They call it a fad and it'll go away.  Except I don't think it's going to.  Only going to get worse as the generations march on.  Even South Park gets it.

So yeah, let's eat more bread and pasta and nutrient poor processed food.  Because the obesity and diabetes levels in this country aren't high enough.

Edited to add:
A quick Google search of the author reveals that her 'primary areas of expertise include focus group moderating and meeting facilitation' and that her 'clients include the grocery industry, leading food companies, and public relations firms. She has worked closely with government agencies, trade associations, and other non-governmental organizations.'  So yeah, it's her job to promote the food industry and make them look not so evil.  So important to vet the sources of nutrition info. on the nets. Shame on USA Triathlon for serving as a vehicle for the food industry though I can't say I'm surprised.


  1. Thanks for posting about the Autoimmune Summit! I had no idea it was going on right now, but I have been listening to the Digestion Summit, which is also going on right now. The speakers are saying so many of the same things you mentioned. It's very informative!

  2. And thanks for alerting me to the Digestion Summit. I'll check that out as well. So much good info. on the internet if you know where to look.