Going “Gluten FREE” is trendy nowadays for all kinds of reasons, most of them unrelated to gluten intolerance.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye and going gluten-free means saying no to many common and nutritious foods. Gluten itself doesn’t offer special nutritional benefits. But the many whole grains that contain gluten do.
If you are considering going “Gluten FREE” you must get to the bottom of why you’re doing it. Many people are avoiding gluten for reasons they don’t know or don’t have any concrete research to backup why they should go gluten free. Or, they’re convinced that eating a gluten-free diet is going to help them lose weight, feel more energetic or become healthier.
“People who are sensitive to gluten may feel better, but a larger portion will derive no significant benefit from the practice.” says Dr. Daniel A. Leffler, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of clinical research at the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
According to WebMD
“For people with celiac disease, a gluten-free diet is essential. But for others, “unless people are very careful, a gluten-free diet can lack vitamins, minerals, and fiber,”
Here’s two reasons why YOU SHOULD go “Gluten FREE”
- Celiac Disease: The prime reason to avoid gluten is if you have celiac disease, a rare genetic illness. With celiac disease, people need to follow a gluten-free diet because even a tiny amount of the protein can seriously damage the small intestine, trigger mild to severe gastro-intestinal distress and make it harder for the body to absorb key nutrients.
- Gluten Intolerance: An intolerance to gluten, on the other hand, doesn’t involve the immune system. An intolerances brings about some of the same GI symptoms, but the symptoms don’t last. Someone with an intolerance to gluten might be able to tolerate tiny amounts of the protein without issue.
Think you might have celiac disease or gluten intolerance? The first step is to get tested. Don’t cut gluten out of your diet before testing.
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