TODAY   |  April 05, 2013

Eat healthy with these gluten-free treats

Cardiologist Arthur Agatston and weight-loss specialist Madelyn Fernstrom talk about the benefits of reducing or eliminating gluten from your diet, and talk about celiac disease, an autoimmune deficiency that affects an estimated 1 percent of the population, causing an adverse reaction to gluten. They also share gluten-free versions of pancakes and pizza.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> on "eat smart today" the rising popularity of the gluten free diet . millions of americans are trying it with many celebrities leading the way.

>> gwen is doing it, so is gaga. bill clinton has tried it and so has beckham. whether it's fluten frgluten free or gluten aware, the diet seems to pop up everywhere, it's the glue that makes dough stretchy, a protein found in wheat , rye and barley. many stay away from it because of food sensitivities or allergies. 1% suffers from celiac disease . then those looking to relieve chronic pain, clear up their skin, lose the bloat and gain some sleep. no matter what the reason a word barely recognizable only a few years ago has suddenly been heard everywhere. now the famous south beach diet has joined the pack, losing the little protein in the hopes of gaining some new followers. and the new addition to a popular diet book is trying to clear up some of the confusion about gluten. dr. arthur agatston is "the south beach diet gluten solution" and madelyn fernstrom is "today's" diet and nutrition editor.

>> good morning.

>> good morning.

>> there is a serious condition called ciliac disease . it's almost like an allergy to gluten, correct?

>> the one thing to remember gluten is a protein found in wheat products and this protein people have a response to, it is all wheat , it is rye, it is barley and the issue is there's a wide spectrum of response.

>> the ciliac disease you can't have gluten in any form. others are sensitive to gluten.

>> it's like a nut allergy you can't have almost anybody and there was a big problem and i believe gluten sensitivity is the most underrecognized underdiagnosed medical condition in our time. i guarantee a lot of our viewers have symptoms from headaches, stomach aches , backaches that are due to gluten sensitivity .

>> and the main thing that is so interesting with this plan is that there's no diagnosis for gluten sensitivity . we hear this. what does that mean? it means when you eat wheat or gluten products you don't feel good, could be from stomach bloating to headaches to skin conditions.

>> even lack of sleep?

>> even lack of sleep.

>> it's common.

>> the issue is how do you eliminate this? that's the only way to determine if your gluten sensitivity is real. that's what the beauty of this plan is.

>> the new concept we introduce in the book is gluten aware. not everybody has to be gluten free . all americans have their own level of gluten sensitivity and our gluten solution plan teaches them to find their own level of sensitivity.

>> we've got some recipes. the south beach diet as i understand it, the first part of it has always been gluten free .

>> yes.

>> there's no carbs.

>> i didn't know anything about gluten when we wrote the book and we found patients lost weight, they improved their blood chemistry, that we expected but we didn't expect that they would cure psoriasis andify brou ify brofibromyalgia.

>> is this is swapped out the wheat protein.

>> there are many flours rich in fiber but no wheat no, gluten. you want to taste it?

>> sure, eating, no problem.

>> you do not have to give up whole grains. in fact, there's no risk with becoming gluten free or gluten aware. you get plenty of fiber, you get all the nutrients and our goal has always been to make a diet a lifestyle.

>> black bean flour, with gluten free doesn't mean calorie free. if you want to lose weight with the plan you still have to moderate portions, you're not going to have food flopping off the plate. that's important.

>> the book has both of those things in mind, not only is it gluten free but healthy.

>> the traditional principles of south beach haven 't changed but over the last 20 years we prepare and process food differently, we're abruising non-steroidal medications, antibiotic antibiotics.

>> our dinner is spaghetti squash.

>> a vegetable, naturally gluten free . you can use rice pasta, there are many things that are substitute for wheat . you can have this and dessert. the thing with dessert and having treats there's no deprivation. you can be gluten free or low gluten and add things back.

>> i like to start with dessert.

>> thank you so much and once again the book is "the south beach diet gluten solution."