Is Gluten-Free Healthy?
Almost two-thirds of participants in a Consumer Reports survey thought going gluten-free would improve their physical or mental health; but is cutting out gluten beneficial for those without celiac disease or gluten sensitivities? Going gluten-free is not necessary for most healthy individuals.
Here may be some reasons to not go gluten-free:
– Going gluten-free without the help of a nutritionist may lead to nutritional deficiencies. The gluten-free products are often not enriched or fortified in iron or folic acid like wheat flours.
-You might actually gain weight, contrary to popular belief. The gluten that added texture and flavor to wheat, rye, and barley are often replaced with fat, sodium, and sugar in gluten-free products.
-You might miss a serious diagnosis. If you think you have an intolerance to gluten or celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder, you actually need to be consuming gluten to get a proper diagnosis. For others, going gluten-free may more of a placebo effect. It’s best to talk to a dietitian or GI specialist and see what changes are best to make before severely restricting your diet!
If you’re looking into cutting out gluten, keep these tips in mind:
– Don’t cut out whole grains completely. You can replace wheat with amaranth, corn, millet, quinoa, teff, and rice.
-Pick naturally gluten-free foods: fruit, vegetables, lean meat, poultry, fish, legumes, and nuts.
-Read your labels and minimize sugar, fat, and sodium when you buy processed foods!
Have any questions? Our RD’s would love to meet with you and discuss your concerns! -HM
Picture from Consumer Reports January 2015 Issue.