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The Link Between Celiac and Heart Disease

The Link Between Celiac and Heart Disease

Most people know that celiac disease is a disorder affecting the digestive system. What most people don’t know is that people with celiac disease have an increased risk of heart disease.

A new study published in BMJ Medicine found at least a 27% greater relative risk of heart disease among patients with celiac disease.

When people with celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. When the small intestine is damaged, people often develop bloating and diarrhea. And nutrients might not be absorbed properly into the body, which can lead to anemia, fatigue, osteoporosis and even mouth sores. About one in 133 Americans, or slightly less than one percent of the population, has celiac disease.

Although the study didn’t determine WHY patients with celiac disease are at higher risk, researchers think that the persistent low-grade inflammation in the gut of celiac patients can spill into the bloodstream and then accelerate artery blockages. Inflammation is a recognized driver of atherosclerosis.

Another connection could be that when people switch to a gluten-free diet, as celiac patients are advised to do, many inadvertently choose unhealthy options.  White rice and processed foods high in salt and sugar proudly display their gluten free attributes, while better choices such as naturally gluten-free whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean meats might lack the reassuring labels. But just because a food doesn’t contain gluten doesn’t make it automatically health promoting! I’m talking to you, 500-calorie Salted Caramel Mocha.

At Step One Foods, we want to help as many people as we can improve their cardiovascular health – especially those at high risk, such as celiac patients. That’s why we avoided including gluten in our heart healthy products and worked hard to ensure that any oat based ingredients follow the purity protocol

We’ve proven that you CAN make foods that are not only gluten free but also clinically validated to improve health.  And, amazingly, we are the first company to do this!

I am really proud to have created the first line of foods that people can actually trust, that taste great, and that are good for you because of what it's in them (fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants and plant sterols) and not because of what isn't (gluten, cholesterol, etc...).   

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