Don’t Go Gluten-Free Just Because

Thinking of Gluten

People who have gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance or Celiac disease have different reactions, compared to the next person, when they ingest gluten. Symptoms range from diarrhea, bloating, headaches, nausea other symptoms. Which is why it is necessary for these people to 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 giving gluten-free options, food labels in groceries announce they are gluten-free, and gluten-free versions of food seem to be lining the grocery aisles. Increasing number of people try it with different benefits in mind: to lose weight, treat autism, eat more healthily, 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 general name for proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye, and triticale, a hybrid of wheat and rye. As these proteins cannot be fully ingested by the body, it can cause inflammation and other negative symptoms in some people. In people with Celiac disease, these proteins trigger an immune response which damage the lining of the small intestines, eventually preventing efficient nutrient absorption from food, and can cause a number of 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]

“People who are sensitive to gluten may feel better, but a larger portion will derive no significant benefit from the practice. They’ll simply waste their money, because these products are expensive,” says Dr. Daniel A Leffler, director of clinical research at the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston in an article published in Harvard.edu.[1]  And he is not wrong. So, before you try this diet, consider these things:

Premium Price

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

Wholefoods without gluten

Eat Healthier with More options

Most people may experience a number of health benefits with 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 wholefoods, fruits and vegetables, as opposed to the usual processed food, pastries, pastas and cakes that generally all 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 actually do even without worrying about gluten in your diet, and you get to have a lot more food options, too.

loseweightglutenfree

Find More Effective Sustainable Options for Losing Weight

Those who claim 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. Gluten-free food and weight loss are not synonymous, unless it helps you to “get rid of the junk” and eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that are naturally gluten-free, as mentioned by Shelley Case, one of North America’s premier experts on the gluten-free diet. [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 https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/going-gluten-free-just-because-heres-what-you-need-to-know-201302205916

 

2 – Helms, J., MS, RD. (2012, September 6). Will Going Gluten Free Help You Lose Weight? [Web log post]. Retrieved November 20, 2017, from https://blogs.webmd.com/food-and-nutrition/2012/09/will-going-gluten-free-help-you-lose-weight.html

 

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