Is a Gluten Free Diet Good for You?


photo courtesy of gourmetsoupkitchen

Did you know that only 1% of the population has celiac disease and only another .4% has wheat allergies yet close to 30% of adults are interested in having a gluten-free diet? In recent years this trend has created a $4.2 billion dollar industry.

So exactly what is gluten and why are you staying away from it rather than embracing its deliciously chewy and wonderfully elastic quality it creates in bread products?

Gluten is a protein found in some grains, such as wheat, barley, rye, and triticale. Oats are naturally gluten-free but can be contaminated with wheat in the growing and/or processing stage. Oats that are certified gluten-free have not been contaminated. Also, gluten is the only protein found in food that is completely indigestible. Its indestructible molecules can slip through the intestinal lining and cause inflammation in the intestines of people with celiac disease.

We asked the experts, and here’s what they said…

“For those who have celiac disease or severe gluten sensitivity, it is necessary to eat a gluten-free diet to avoid being malnourished. People with celiac disease need foods rich in fiber, iron and B vitamins”, says Michele Loesch, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Master Fitness Trainer, Life Style Design Consultant. “and people who eat a gluten-free diet without a medical reason or sensitivity, are cheating themselves out of necessary vitamins and minerals. A healthy diet is a well-rounded diet.”

According to Stephanie Schiff, RDN, “If you have a gluten sensitivity or have celiac disease, the best way to eat is to choose foods that are as minimally processed and close to their natural sources as possible, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, fish, poultry and lean meats. The worst way is to rely on the gluten-free aisle in your health food store or supermarket and buy highly processed products like crackers or cookies. To make up for the lack of gluten, manufacturers will often add extra fat, sugar or salt, which won’t do you any favors. Unless you know that you are specifically sensitive to gluten or that you have celiac disease, a gluten-free diet is not necessarily going to make you healthier. And it can possibly do you more harm than good.”

“To make up for the lack of gluten, manufacturers will often add extra fat, sugar or salt.”

Kia M. Bourne, RDN, LD, CFT suggests, “if you’re trying to lose weight, boost your energy or just want to feel healthier, gluten-free is not the answer. Going gluten-free involves more than giving up bread, cereal, pasta, pizza, and beer. Gluten lurks in many other products, including frozen vegetables in sauce, soy sauce, some foods containing natural flavorings, vitamin and mineral supplements, some medications and toothpaste.”

“Eat gluten, see how you feel. If you experience digestive discomfort, don’t eat it”, explains Ben Fuchs, Registered Pharmacist, Nutritional Pharmacist, Cosmetic Chemist and Host of The Bright Side. “It’s hard to say if celiac disease is on the rise, but awareness of GI symptoms certainly is. It could be that digestive discomfort experienced after eating was previously not attributed to a specific cause, or it may have been called psychosomatic. GMO and glyphosate laden grains, as well as increased reliance on sugary and processed, nutritionally empty foods don’t help.”

“If a person has celiac disease they probably don’t need to use gluten-free shampoos and cosmetic products. Topical gluten reactions occur, but they are very rare. Preservatives, detergents, and fragrances contained in products are WAY more problematic and are best avoided.”

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5 Important Benefits of Savoring a Meal Design Rich In Gluten…

• You will enjoy a healthful, varied, well-balanced meal design, rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber…no food restrictions.

• Every food is a precious jewel with its own unique benefits.

• You will reduce your risk of exposure to toxic heavy metals. Rice and rice-based products are common food choices on a gluten-free diet and are sources of … arsenic, mercury, cadmium and lead.

• You will take delight in a wide variety of whole grains, which are a great source of fiber. High fiber foods help to stabilize blood sugar, lower blood pressure and cholesterol and may help to reduce the risk of colon cancer.

• You will have an abundance of food choices at restaurants, feeling part of your social circle. And while traveling, your options will be unlimited.

• You will be able to experience the joy of baking this exquisite Basic Sourdough bread.

Guest Author Elizabeth Moulinie is a published writer and fitness professional. She shares expert advice for a sophisticated, thoughtful lifestyle…encouraging personal style and physical vibrance.

Instagram: ElizabethMoulinie

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