These days we see gluten-free products popping up in nearly every store or restaurant. The gluten free industry has grown with a whopping 44% between 2011 and 2013 and is still on the rise. For people with celiac disease or wheat allergies or sensitivities this is great news. But for most people, a gluten-free diet is just not healthy.
Although you can eat healthy without having gluten into your diet, most people are not doing their research and just go gluten-free because it seems to be all the hype, especially amongst people who want to lose weight.
So it seems there are a lot of people who are not diagnosed with gluten-intolerances that have decided to go gluten-free because they believe it is the key to better health. But is it?
Here Are 5 Things You Should Know Before Going Gluten-Free
1. Are Gluten Unhealthy?
Many experts and nutritionist believe the gluten craze is just one of the latest food or diet fads. Whole grains, which contain gluten, are actually not the bad guys. Whole grains contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are essential to keep our body healthy and provide energy, if you eat them in moderation and keep the acid-base balance in mind. (Click here to learn more about the importance of the acid-base balance for overall health)
2. Most Gluten-Free Products Are Highly Processed
Most gluten-free products are made with refined gluten-free grains and are stripped from many of their nutrients. Studies show that many gluten-free diets are just not balanced and often lacking in fiber, iron, folate, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, and zinc.
3. Should You Go Gluten-Free To lose Weight?
Well most people who are on a mission to lose weight cut down on gluten and claim to feel better and lose weight. Gluten is a protein found in grains and cutting back on gluten often means replacing desserts, baked goods, and junk food with fruits and vegetables. So it is not their gluten-free decision, but eating less crap and more fresh fruits and veggies that is providing their weight loss results.
4. Talk To Your Doctor First
If you think you have celiac disease or any wheat allergy, talk to your doctor first to make sure gluten are wreaking havoc on your body and not something else.
5. If You Decide To Go Gluten-Free, Do It The Right Way
If you decide to eliminate all wheat products, make sure to replace them with healthy, whole gluten-free grains, such as quinoa and buckwheat, and don’t fall for the gluten-free, refined junk food. Make sure to balance your diet and eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies to make sure you get your essential nutrients.
For people who need to go gluten-free it is recommended to see a registered dietitian with expertise in celiac or gluten sensitivities to make sure you get your daily need of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Always opt for whole wheat products that are the least processed and limit your intake to avoid health issues. Many people improve their health by reducing the amount of wheat instead of going gluten-free. Limit pasta, bread, oats, and other grain products to once a day. If you want to go completely gluten-free, do your research to make sure you get your daily need of micro and macro nutrients.
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