The Healthy Grains Institute was launched in November of 2012 as a not-for-profit organization with a goal of guiding Canadians in their pursuit of health and weight management. The Institute works to provide the public with science-based information on the benefits of whole grains and is guided by an independent, multi-disciplinary Scientific Advisory Council made up of Dr. Harvey Anderson, Dr. Ravinda Chibbar and Dr. Julie Miller Jones of the University of Toronto, the University of Saskatchewan and St. Catherine University, respectively.

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We caught up with Kristine Lowry, nutrition and policy advisor for the Healthy Grains Institute, at Farmtech ’14 in Edmonton, where we discussed the Institute, its goals and the celebrity-driven hype of the gluten-free movement.

5 thoughts on “Gluten’s Unfortunate Reputation — Is it Really Bad for You?

  1. I thought gluten-free food options were more geared for those folks wanting to feel better not because they want to lose weight or look like a “movie star.” Kristine’s responses seemed like an attack on the entertainment world rather than a response that delivered the facts. I was hoping to find out what the issue really was with gluten.

  2. From what I understood, there is no issue with Gluten, unless you happen to be one of the 1-2% of people who have Celiac disease, or one of the 6% who have non Celiac related gluten intolerance. I think that Kristine was referring to the fact that fad diets are sometimes made popular by celebrities, sometimes at the expense of others. I think that a proper balanced diet of all types of food is appropriate for a healthy, feel good lifestyle. Gluten free foods, as she pointed out can be higher in calories,etc. and lacking in fibre that the body also needs. I think that she did deliver the facts well.
    Of course each individual is free to make their own decisions, that is the great thing about the country we live in.

  3. Here’s an idea, stop eating gluten for a bit, then go back on it and see how you feel. It’s pretty basic. I’m a healthcare professional and I’ve been into health and wellness for 10 years. It tends to be more caucasian people who have the problem but gluten causes big problems for some people and less for others, everyone will react differently to it. You could also try Spelt, which is an heirloom variety of wheat, people (including me) feel better with this. Personally do better with no gluten and low-moderate grain depending. Gut health is also a factor in how your body will handle grains in general. On the whole, gluten is not particularly good for anyone as far as I’m aware of, it’s very pro-inflammatory but it also depends on what form your getting it in. Highly refined what flour is not the same as whole grain sprouted spelt. Get a loaf of real sourdough spelt bread and check that out. Eliminate gluten for a month and go back on it, see what happens. People love using research and numbers to justify their comfortable way of living because the idea of change is scary. Keep an open mind and experience things for yourself.

    1. Joseph, you might want to just try eating less processed wheat for the same 2 weeks as well. Spelt isn’t gluten free, and I suspect that the benefit you feel may be from eating healthier whole grain(it wouldn’t have to be spelt). If people would substitute a nice whole grain bagel for the donut they usually have, they’d get the same benefits you’ve talked about. This website talks about the gluten part in more detail:

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