Thursday, October 07, 2010

Do gluten-free consumers eat more dessert?

A friend, who is also a gluten-free baker and chef, commented to me that when she samples her food to consumers gluten-free customers seem to desire a sweeter product than those who eat gluten.  She is a European trained chef and doesn’t produce the icing-laden super sweet desserts that so often abound in this country.  Hers are a bit more sophisticated but still plenty sweet in my opinion.  She said that upon surveying gluten and non-gluten tasters a definite trend emerged towards a larger sweet tooth in the gluten-free customers.

Why would that be?
Is it due to the overall restriction of available products that gluten-free consumers want sweeter treats to “make up” for what they can’t have? This is possible but I don’t believe it tells the whole story.

This is what I believe may be a reason: Due to the intestinal damage and/or inflammation that gluten creates, the microbiota or probiotic population of the gut is compromised.  Secondary to that, pathogenic organisms such as parasites, amoeba, bacteria and yeast can get a foot hold and happily reproduce themselves within the intestine.  Such organisms tend to thrive on sugar so they actually create the craving by their very presence and need for fuel.

I’m not saying that everyone who tolerates gluten has a healthy small intestine but it is clear that gluten compromises the immune system of the gut in a rather devastating fashion for those whom are sensitive.

What is my take-away message?  If you have a sweet tooth consider having the health of your small intestine evaluated.  That sweet tooth may very well be an indicator of compromised small intestinal integrity- something that is extremely important to remedy.

I hope this was informative.  Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

To your good health,


Dr Vikki Petersen
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Author of The Gluten Effect



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr Vikki
Thanks for this information (and indeed for ALL the information). I was diagnosed with celiac disease in December last year. Prior to diagnosis I had a VERY sweet tooth. After nearly a year gluten-free I have noticed my sweet-tooth has all but disappeared!I check in on your blog each week and really appreciate your help. Thank you.
Regards Janet (NZ)
p.s. Congratulations on saving the doggie :-)