Gluten-Free? Little Benefit For Most People


Recently, I bugged my bride, “What in the world is gluten?” It seems 80 percent of food packaging now says “gluten-free” on the box.

Acknowledging she didn’t know, we looked it up.

Gluten, it turns out, is a protein in wheat. Gluten should be avoided for all people with celiac disease. However, avoiding gluten provides no proven benefits for people without the disease.

Speaking of health benefits, nuts have them. Peanuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios all contain healthful fats that can cut your risk of heart disease, Yes, they are high in calories, so keep your portions reasonable. And talking about reasonable portions, keep in mind that one portion of meat should be no larger than a deck of cards. Along those lines, one serving of cheese is the size of six dice.

Then again, snacking can be good for you. If you try and keep between-meals munching to fruit or raw vegetables, it can keep you from overeating at your next meal while supplying important vitamins and nutrients.

Also, try to keep a wary eye out for whole grain imposters. The general impression is that “multigrain and stone ground” probably are not whole grain.

Get ready to say bye-bye to the old standby check payment of Social Security benefits.

Starting on March 1, with very few exceptions, new government regulations require recipients to receive payments electronically through direct deposit or direct express prepaid debit card.

To sign up for direct deposit of your benefits, visit or call (800) 333-1795.