Is your high cholesterol really bad?

Cholesterol

Cholesterol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are like me, you have received threats from your doctor after your last checkup. Actually, I have heard those threats my whole life. My cholesterol has always been high. At some point, it reached a comical level: I weighed no more than 110 pounds, exercised at least an hour a day, had been a vegetarian (understand, plant-based eater) for more than 10 years, had never smoked, ate very, very little fat, and received a pamphlet advising me to lose weight, exercise more, eat less fat, stop smoking and eat less meat. I laughed. But I still had high cholesterol, so what did that mean? MDs eventually told me that my bad cholesterol was probably genetic. So, does that mean I am at higher risk for cardiovascular diseases? And… is there anything we can do? Continue reading

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Nonceliac wheat sensitivity: A new clinical entity

About 20 years ago I completed an internship in a small company specializing in the formulation of gluten-free bakery products for patients with celiac disease. At the time, celiac disease was pretty much unknown from the general population. Few people were affected, and few products existed to replace the staples of general diets that the affected individuals needed to avoid to remain symptom-free, such as bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, breakfast cereals, and all products containing (or made from) wheat, rye and barley.

Today, it is hard to escape discussions of intolerance to gluten. What happened? Did the frequency of the celiac disease suddenly skyrocket? Apart from an increased awareness of celiac disease per se, clinicians are starting to recognize the existence of another type of food intolerance triggered by wheat, namely nonceliac wheat sensitivity. Continue reading