What's the buzz about gluten-free and how can this knowledge apply to the SAT and ACT

What's the buzz about gluten-free and how can this knowledge apply to the SAT and ACT?

So, it's late 2014 and most of us have encountered a friend or family member who has decided to change her diet, and many are going gluten-free as a part of this evolution.

Read my Top 5 Reasons to Consider Going Gluten-Free below, and you may just consider this step yourself. What does this have to do with the SAT and ACT? Well, for starters, one of my favorite topics to include in my supporting body paragraphs for recent SAT/ACT essay prompts is diet, gluten and GMOs. If you become my student, I'll share several essays which I've written when I've sat for real ACTs and SATs and used these examples!

More importantly, we all know that optimal health leads to better academic success and higher standardized test scores. Roughly 1/4 of the students with whom I work each year have special needs or receive accommodations, many of whom share an ADD or ADHD diagnosis. Gluten can be a problem for this population. And it's far more widespread than we may be aware. Happy learning!


1. Zonulin - Zonulin is a protein that was discovered in 2005 by Dr. Alessio Fasano. This protein is created in our blood when we eat foods containing gluten. Zonulin is a gatekeeper in our intestines and also for our blood brain barrier. Higher levels of zonulin lead to permeability and the destruction of those "gates". This can lead not only to classic celiac disease but also to a host of other neurological, gastrointestinal and heart diseases, to name a few.

2. Glyphosate - Much of our wheat, other than that which is labeled organic, is now being sprayed with glyphosate (key ingredient in Monsanto's wildly popular herbicide Round-Up) roughly 7-10 days before final harvest as a "dry down" step. This is yet one more GMO concern, and many believe that the continuing rise of gluten-sensitivity may be linked as much to glyphosate as to gluten. Dr. Stephanie Seneff (MIT) has been speaking around the globe about her published journal research linking glyphosate to a number of increasing diseases and autism.

3. High glycemic index food - Wheat is one of the highest glycemic index foods. When you eat these foods, wheat included, your blood sugar levels spike. Blood sugar instability is at the root of many diseases, most important of which include heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimers. This is one of the key issues discussed in Dr. David Perlmutter's Grain Brain book which links gluten to Alzheimers and neurological disease and in Dr. William Davis's Wheat Belly book which links gluten to heart disease.

4. MTHFR - Up to 45% of the population has a folate (a B-vitamin) metabolism defect known as MTHFR. Get this gene and your comprehensive genome checked out by going to www.23andme.com and ordering a saliva test kit for $99. Know your status, educate yourself by reading the work of MTHFR guru Dr. Ben Lynch, and find an integrative doctor who can partner with you. Common populations with this defect include those with family members on the autism spectrum and with ADD, and those with chronic infection such as Lyme disease. If you have this defect, your body cannot process synthetic folic acid which was added to all wheat products starting in the early 1980s. Folic acid is a toxin to a body with MTHFR, and it will not repair deficient folate levels. Instead, this population requires both a gluten-free diet to avoid folic acid and supplementation with methyl folate and methyl B12 to address folate deficiency. Folate deficiency is related to cancer, metals toxicity, neurological disease and mental illness, gastrointestinal disease, miscarriages, mitochondrial disease, and a host of other problems.

5. Lose weight and brain fog - Your waistline and brain will thank you when you begin to go gluten-free! If you are holding on to extra weight, losing the gluten will help you lose the pounds. If you are experiencing brain fog, eliminating gluten for a period of time may help improve this symptom as well. Notice that when you lose the gluten, you lose the catalyst to excess zonulin creation, the glyphosate exposure, the blood sugar spikes and the synthetic folic acid -- all potential contributors to chronic disease.


Has anyone tried taking this step?

What have you found when you started to minimize or eliminate this food in your diet?

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