GOING GLUTEN-FREE

Gluten is a particular kind of protein that is not found in eggs or meat but is in barley, rye, wheat and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Going gluten-free means avoiding these grains. A gluten-free diet is essential for those who have celiac disease, a condition that causes inflammation in the small intestines, or gluten allergies.  Symptoms of celiac disease include anemia, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, gas, headaches, skin rashes, joint pain and fatigue.

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A DIET FOR HEALTH & WEIGHT LOSS

Have you noticed? Look around and you’ll see a majority of Americans who are either overweight or obese. Look in supermarkets and you’ll see a plethora of food products, many of them processed or high-fat and/or sweet laden.  Consuming such a diet often leads to poor health and weight gain. It is not surprising that the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. A number of diseases, including pre-diabetes, diabetes, stroke and depression, are linked to how we eat .....

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ANTIBIOTICS IN OUR FOOD

Just what is in the food we eat? Considering the food chain, did you know adding antibiotics to food dates back to the 1940s? Antibiotic use has led to a dramatic reduction in illness and death from infectious diseases, yet there is a downside to this practice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others encourage health care professionals and patients to use antibiotics more wisely and seek education and understanding about both the risks and benefits of using them.

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Some believe free range is a healthy route to take. “Any animal that is fed antibiotics would be pulled out of this program,” Carter said. “Most of the time when you see these markets, they say they are antibiotic free and hormone free.”


At the end of the day, it tends to be about budget and how much you want to spend, as well as personal preference.


“It is more of a perception and personal choice as to whether you want to buy free-range products or a conventional product,” Hawkins said. “Just because a product is raised in a more traditional background as opposed to a free-range situation does not mean the care given to that animal is any different. The producers (on both ends of the spectrum) take pride in and care for their animals.”


“It just comes down to what somebody wants,” Carter said. “Traditionally in these types of programs, the cost will be higher. It needs to be because there are higher costs involved for the producer.”

For farmers, free-range livestock has become a hot topic of conversation.


“Kentucky has 37,000 beef producers and is the largest cattle state east of the Mississippi,” said Katelyn Hawkins, general member of the beef council of the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association. From a health standpoint, whether you choose free range or a conventional route of beef production, you are still getting the same nutritional benefits.


“No matter what type of beef you choose, as far as the production practice that goes behind it – whether it is grain finished, grass finished, natural, organic or even free range – when you eat it you are getting 25 grams of protein and 10 essential vitamins and nutrients off a 3-ounce portion,” Hawkins said. “Some people choose free range because they do not necessarily fully understand the production cycle and what happens on the farm. They like the idea that there is a free-range option.”


There are many reasons to consider free-range livestock. “The main benefits are that it is locally sourced and the dollars stay in Kentucky,” said Nick Carter, agriculture and natural resources agent for the Fayette County Farm Bureau. “In most cases you feel comfortable with how it is being handled.”

SHOULD YOU CHOOSE FREE RANGE LIVESTOCK?

JAMIE LOBER

Jamie Lober is a Staff Writer for Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Jamie Lober

Beef is a versatile meat. There are so many options for using it that everyone is sure to find some- thing they like. “Those (cuts) that are determined lean by the dietary guidelines include America’s favor- ite cuts, like T-bone, tenderloin, sirloin and even flank steak,” said Hawkins.


You can always serve beef with something to make it even more appealing. “Everyone likes color on their plate, so try a stir-fry recipe or use beef as a salad topper,” said Hawkins.