More and more we are hearing  from dietitians changing their stance on certain health topics based on new research and evolving dietary guidelines.

Going Gluten-free:  Millions of people have cut out gluten to lose weight, gain energy and/or reduce gastrointestinal distress after eating. Contrary to popular belief, however,, gluten-free does not equal healthy. Only 1 % of the population has celiac disease, a condition in which gluten damages the lining of the small intestine.  Treatment of this disease requires a strict gluten-free diet. Some people experience nonceliac gluten sensitivity in which they test negative for celiac disease but still experience gastrointestinal distress or other inflammatory reactions after eating gluten.  This also is relatively rare.  Everyone else has fallen into the fad-diet trap.

While a gluten-free diet may help people lose weight, it is not because they have said good-bye to gluten,  It is because they are eating more whole, unprocessed foods and reducing simple carbohydrates such as chips,cookies and white grains.

Foods made from the three common gluten-containing grains..wheat, barley and rye…are nutritious as long as aren’t highly processed, and they won’t cause stomach distress for most people.

Unless you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, instead of eliminating gluten, replace your simple carbs with complex carbs from vegetables, beans,legumes and whole grains.  Choose brown or wild rice instead of white rice.  Buy 100% whole-grain breads and cereals instead of white breads, dinner rolls, partially whole-grain breads and sugary cereals.  When dining out, ditch the white bun and ask for a whole-wheat bun.  Instead of fries or chips, choose a side salad, fresh fruit or steamed vegetables.

CHOOSING EGG WHITES: Egg whites may be lower in calories than whole eggs, but they are also lower in nutrition.  That is because the yolk contains most of the egg’s nutritional value.  Eating eggs for protein??? The yolk contains more than 40 % of an egg’s protein.  Research has linked protein at breakfast with reduced appetite and fewer cravings later in the day. The yolk also contains most of the minerals and heart healthy monounsaturated fats.  Interestingly, these fats boost your body’s absorption of antioxidants from vegetables.

A study published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adding three whole eggs to a mixed-vegetable salad increased the antioxidant absorption of vegetables by three to eight times.  You might not want to add three eggs to your salad, but even one hard-boiled egg (you can slice it or chop it up) can boost antioxidant absorption.  Another study found that adding 3 to 5 grams of fat to a meal improved absorption of antioxidant beta-carotene.  One large egg contains 5 grams os fat, almost all of which is found in the yolk.

AVOIDING COFFEE: a whopping 83 % of American adults drink coffee, yet many still view it as a bad habit.  Research indicates that coffee actually is quite beneficial.  People who drink coffee regularly are less like to be obese or have high blood pressure or diabetes, according to various studies.  Coffee may protect against DNA damage and multiple studies link coffee to lower rates of stomach and skin cancers and reduced risk of heart failure.  The compounds found in coffee also have been linked to reduced risk for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Sticking to no more than 3 to 4 cups of coffee per day and avoiding caffeinated coffee within 4 to 6 hours of bedtime can help manage the effects of disrupting sleep and making one feel jittery.