Don’t Go Gluten-Free Just Because

Thinking of Gluten

People who have gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance, or Celiac disease have different reactions as compared to the next person when ingesting gluten. Symptoms range from diarrhea and bloating to headaches, nausea, and more severe symptoms. This is why these people must switch to a gluten-free diet. People who don’t have these problems, on the other hand, do not have to worry about gluten in their diet.

But as of late, we increasingly read about and hear concerns about gluten. We see restaurants menus including gluten-free options, food labels in groceries announce items are gluten-free, and gluten-free versions of food seem to be lining the grocery aisles. An increasing number of people try it with different benefits in mind: to lose weight, treat autism, eat more healthily, and have more energy. Going gluten-free has rapidly become the next it diet.

But what is the gluten-free diet really, and what is it for? Gluten is a generic name for a type of protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, and triticale, a hybrid of wheat and rye. As these proteins cannot be fully ingested by the body, ingesting them can cause inflammation and other negative symptoms in some people. In people with Celiac disease, these proteins trigger an immune response which damages the lining of the small intestines, eventually preventing efficient nutrient absorption from food, and can cause several other problems like osteoporosis, nerve damage, and seizures. A gluten-free diet is one where you remove gluten so if you do have these reactions to gluten, you avoid these negative symptoms altogether. [1]

According to Dr. Daniel A Leffler, the director of clinical research at the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston in an article published in, those who have gluten sensitivity may feel better, but most will get negligible benefit from a gluten-free diet. They will waste money in the end, spending on expensive gluten-free items. [1] And he is not wrong. So, before you try this diet, consider these things:

Premium Price

Gluten-free products are typically produced in smaller batches and need different ingredients than their conventional counterparts. Ingredients may cost more, and making them needs specialized knowledge on gluten-free food. And so they tend to be priced higher than non-gluten-free versions.

Wholefoods without gluten

Eat Healthier with More options

Most people may experience many health benefits of going gluten-free. But these could be incidental benefits since avoiding certain elements in your diet may also lead you to eliminate other foods. You may find yourself eating more whole foods, fruits, and vegetables, as opposed to the usual processed food, pastries, pasta, and cakes that generally contain gluten. You may also find yourself being more careful about additives in your food which can lead to eating a lot cleaner. But if you think about it, these are things you can do even without worrying about gluten in your diet, and you get to have a lot more food options, too.


Find More Effective Sustainable Options for Losing Weight

Those who claim a gluten-free diet helped them lose weight or have more energy benefit from it by incidentally removing processed food from their diet, regardless of gluten content. Being on a gluten-free diet, and losing weight does not mean the same thing, unless the switch in what you are eating helps you to fill your diet with more nourishing and healthy food that are naturally gluten-free, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This is according to registered dietitian Shelley Case, a trusted name and expert on the gluten-free diet in North America. [2] With that said, there are other diets out there that are targeted for weight loss, which you may consider and prove more effective for you.

Have a question about going gluten-free? Feel free to leave it for us in the comments, or browse this blog for more tips!

1 – Strawbridge, H. (2018, January 08). Going gluten-free just because? Here’s what you need to know. Retrieved April 12, 2019, from

2 – Helms, J., MS, RD. (2012, September 6). Will Going Gluten Free Help You Lose Weight? [Web log post]. Retrieved November 20, 2017, from