Gluten-free diets have been turned into a fad over the years when they really shouldn’t have been. There are good things that gluten does for the body; and it contains proteins.
It is only people with other health issues that can benefit from removing or reducing gluten from their diets. Otherwise, you’re robbing your body of nutrients it needs for optimal health.
Why People Quit Gluten
Lots of people have opted to quit eating gluten because they’ve heard that it can help you lose weight. There’s a problem with this way of thought. The thing is, it’s not factual. If you switch to a plant-based diet and cut out things like bread and pasta, then you’ll probably drop a few pounds. But just going gluten-free is not a good weight loss strategy.
In fact, many gluten-free food options contain more calories than their gluten-rich counterparts. That means if you’re eating gluten-free bread, which is usually smaller in size, you’re taking in more calories per slice than normal sized gluten bread.
There are good reasons to go on a gluten-free diet. The best reasons are via the suggestion of your doctor. Here are some of the legitimate reasons why you may opt to go gluten-free.
If you’re allergic to wheat or you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac disease, you may want to avoid gluten. While a wheat allergy and gluten intolerance are different things, you can still benefit from avoiding most gluten foods.
Wheat, barley, and rye are the common gluten grains. Someone with a wheat allergy would still be able to have barley and rye.
If you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac disease, you should go gluten-free. If you suspect you may have it, going on a gluten-free diet is a good idea as well. If you want a diagnosis, get it before you quit gluten. You need it in your system for the tests to work properly.
Some people argue that gluten intolerance doesn’t exist, but people without Celiac disease that suffer negative effects when they eat gluten-rich foods may put up a bit of an argument. If your diet of bread, pasta, beer, and other gluten-containing foods is giving your stomach cramps, diarrhea, constipation, or making you vomit, you may have an intolerance to gluten.
Go without it for a while and see if it makes a difference.
Elimination diets are being used to help treat children with autism. Gluten is one of the foods that is often eliminated in this practice. There are varying reasons for eliminating foods. Since there is no exact cause of autism, doctors do what they can to try to find ways to help with the symptoms.
Some children show improvement when they have gluten cut from their diets. Gluten could have something to do with their autism, or it could be that autism causes their body not to absorb nutrients the way it’s supposed to.
If you have stomach issues and you’re not sure what’s causing them, you too could benefit from an elimination diet. Every few weeks you cut out a food item and then introduce it back in a few weeks later and record how you feel when it’s back in your diet. If you have adverse reactions, you cut it back out.
Food elimination is a good way to find out about food allergies or intolerance.
If you’ve been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, like Lupus, Hoshimoto’s, or Crohn’s – switching to a gluten-free diet could benefit you.
Often, autoimmune diseases can react poorly to gluten, causing you to have all sorts of adverse reactions. You could have the symptoms of Celiac disease, or you may have an intolerance to gluten. Cutting gluten from your diet could help you find extended pain relief.
What Does A Gluten-Free Diet Entail?
If you go gluten-free, you’re not going to be switching back and forth to gluten foods. If you do, you’ll feel the effects. It’s a complete lifestyle change, and you need to worry about cross contamination any time you eat out, even at a friend’s place.
You will not be able to drink normal beer anymore. You’ll need to start reading the ingredients on everything you buy.
You’ll also find that your grocery bill increases as you buy specialty foods, like gluten-free bread, which cost more than twice the amount of their gluten counterparts.
Going on a Gluten-Free Diet
If you’re considering a gluten-free diet for one of the above reasons, talk to your doctor first. They may be able to do some tests and save you a lot of money on grocery bills in the long run.