Is Gluten-Free Healthy?

Is it healthy to eat a diet removing foods containing gluten? While gluten-free foods are an incredible alternative for those with gluten sensitivities or Celiac disease, there are no direct health benefits of gluten-free foods for those without either of these conditions. So no, gluten-free is not necessarily “healthy”.

A gluten-free diet may appear to benefit the dieter, but this is generally only because the dieter is paying more attention to what they are putting into their body when compared to a regular diet. This means they will likely consume less or eat more balanced meals than when they can eat whatever they want. Some better alternatives for this could be the keto diet, vegetarianism, or basic calorie restrictions.

Not only is going gluten-free fairly useless for those without a sensitivity, it can also have unexpected adverse effects. Cutting certain foods out of the diet such as whole wheat can create a fiber deficiency. This is already a problem for many Americans and is just serving to make the problem worse, according to Dr. Daniel A. Leffler, a director of clinical research at the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. There is also concern that the diet can create a deficiency of other vitamins, such as vitamin B, mainly present in normal vitamin fortified breads, pastas, and cereals.

Going Gluten-Free: If You Have Gluten Sensitivity

If you do have a gluten sensitivity, there are some foods to watch out for. Breads, grains, baked goods, beer, soy sauce, and more should be avoided at all costs as these will cause flare ups due to your sensitivity. Try to look for gluten-free alternatives in these products. You can bake or make your own products with ingredients in most groceries stores too. Gluten-free flour is widely available as well as other gluten-free products. Make sure you’re getting the vitamins you need as well, as many gluten-free foods are lacking in essential vitamins and minerals for a healthy diet.

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