Should You Go Gluten Free Take This Quiz To Find Out
Twenty percent of Americans say they actively try to eat gluten-free foods, according to a new Gallup poll. Gluten, a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye, is an increasingly controversial topic in the food and diet world.
The market for gluten-free snacks ballooned by 163 percent from 2012 to 2014, and consumers are gobbling up gluten-free goodies for a couple of reasons. First, awareness of celiac disease and gluten sensitivities is higher than ever before. Second, there’s a health halo encircling gluten-free products: The diet is often associated with health and weight loss, even though there is no evidence that those unaffected by a diagnosed gluten intolerance would benefit from nixing the protein from their diets. A recent study published in the Journal of American Academy of Physician Assistants confirms that despite their popularity, gluten-free diets are not healthier for the general public than gluten-filled diets. In truth, other studies show gluten-free products are nutritionally similar, if not identical, to their gluten-filled original versions.
Our research confirms much of what we already knew while the gluten-free diet is a legitimate therapeutic tool for those affected by gluten-related disorders, there has been a corrosion of common sense from people needlessly jumping on the fad diet bandwagon, recent study co-author Glenn Gaesser, a researcher and professor at Arizona State University, said in a statement.
Related on HuffPost:
What About Autism Epilepsy And Schizophrenia
Some people are concerned that gluten could be linked with developmental differences or medical conditions. This is a misconception. While gluten intolerance may be more likely in these populations, there is no evidence that eating gluten causes these differences.
The following sections explore this in more detail.
concluded that there is little evidence that a gluten-free diet has benefits for the symptoms of autism in children.
There may be a link between celiac disease and epilepsy.
In a small 2016 study of 113 people with epilepsy, around 6% tested positive for celiac disease.
In this study, 6 out of 7 of these patients had their seizures completely under control and were able to discontinue antiepileptic medications after 5 months on the gluten-free diet.
This suggests that people with epilepsy and celiac disease will benefit from a gluten-free diet.
People with schizophrenia may be more likely to have celiac disease.
A found that a gluten-free diet may benefit a subpopulation of people with schizophrenia who have a sensitivity to gluten.
However, more research is needed before recommending a gluten-free diet for a person with schizophrenia.
Can Help Reduce Chronic Inflammation In Those With Celiac Disease
Inflammation is a natural process that helps the body treat and heal infection.
Sometimes inflammation can get out of hand and last weeks, months, or even years. This is known as chronic inflammation and may lead to various health problems in the long run .
A gluten-free diet can help reduce chronic inflammation in those with celiac disease.
In fact, a gluten-free diet can reduce markers of inflammation, like antibody levels, and may also help treat gut damage caused by gluten-related inflammation in those with celiac disease .
People with NCGS may also have low levels of inflammation, but its not completely clear if a gluten-free diet can reduce their inflammation .
Don’t Miss: How To Make Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Can Help You Lose Weight
Its not unusual to lose weight once you start following a gluten-free diet.
The diet eliminates many high-calorie, processed foods and often replaces them with fruit, vegetables, and lean proteins.
Avoid processed gluten-free foods such as cakes, pastries, and snacks if youre trying to lose weight. They can quickly add a lot of calories to your diet.
Instead, focus on eating plenty of whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins to reach and maintain a moderate weight while also meeting your nutritional needs.
A gluten-free diet can provide many health benefits, especially for those with celiac disease. It may help ease digestive symptoms, reduce chronic inflammation, boost energy, and promote weight loss.
Despite having a variety of health benefits, a gluten-free diet could also lead to certain side effects and has downsides to consider.
You Know Your Body Best
Trust me when I say that you know your body best! Not your doctor, your lab work, or anything else. If you eliminate gluten and dairy for 30 days and feel better, then you can feel confident that you are sensitive to these proteins. You truly dont need any expert to confirm that for you.
I believe that it can be so empowering to understand the impact of food on your body, and this approach of an elimination and reintroduction challenge truly is the best way to determine whether or not gluten is impacting you.
Then and only then will you be able to confidently answer the question: should I go gluten free?
If you happen to decide that going gluten free is the right decision for you, then the last part of The Gluten Guide will give you my top tips for how to go gluten free for good.
In the meantime, please let me know in the comments if you are considering the elimination and reintroduction challenge. I would love to hear what you discover about your body through this challenge!
You May Like: Glutino Gluten Free English Muffins
What Are The Symptoms Of Celiac Disease
Symptoms of celiac disease can be different in each person. Common symptoms are diarrhea or constipation, vomiting and weight loss, malnutrition, anemia , tiredness or fatigue, bone or joint pain, depression, stomach bloating and pain, and short stature in children.
People who suffer from irritable bowel-like stomach problems, headaches, fatigue, numbness, and depression may have gluten sensitivity.
What Is Gluten And Should You Go Gluten
Have you ever wondered exactly what is gluten?
It refers to a family of proteins known as prolamins that constitute the storage protein in the starchy endosperm of many cereal grains such as wheat, barley, and rye.
Wheat and other cereals are made into flour, containing various proteins, one of which is glutenin, otherwise known as gluten.
Viewed alone, gluten is a tough, elastic, grayish substance resembling chewing gum which works as a leavening agent, when the flour is kneaded.
These types of grains make up a large portion of the modern American diet.
Probably because of their palatability, ease of cultivation, and use in a wide variety of foods.
Also Check: Gluten And Dairy Free Frozen Meals
Who Really Needs To Go Gluten
MONDAY, Jan. 29, 2018 — It seems like “gluten-free” labels are popping up everywhere, including on foods that never had any gluten to begin with. Is this a health bandwagon you should jump on â¦ or shy away from?
Some people have a lesser condition called non-celiac gluten sensitivity and may feel better on a gluten-free diet.
What to avoid when you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity:
- Wheat in all forms including durum flour, farina, graham flour, semolina and spelt.
- Barley and products with malt.
But for everyone else, gluten-free may just be more costly and could negatively affect digestive health because you’re missing out on fiber. Consumer Reports also found that some gluten-free foods have more fat, sugar and/or salt than their regular counterparts, and are short on nutrients like iron and folic acid — found in foods with enriched-wheat flour.
Many products also replace wheat with rice. This is a concern because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been monitoring rice and rice products for the presence of small amounts of arsenic, which finds its way into rice from both natural and human sources. So, it’s important not to overload on this grain, even whole-grain brown rice.
It Could Reduce Inflammation
If you don’t have celiac, you could also still see your health improve upon giving up gluten. “When you stop eating gluten, you may experience less bloating, lowered inflammation, clearer skin, more energy, and less brain fog,” Snyder says. “This is because gluten can trigger inflammation in the small intestine, which leads to a number of issues in the body like poor digestion, difficulty absorbing nutrients, and autoimmune disorders.
Once gluten is out of your system, your gut will have a chance to repair, and your body will be less burdened, freeing up more energy to help your body feel great and function optimally.”
To learn more about what happens to your body when you stop eating gluten, check out the below episode of You Versus Food.
You May Like: Easy Gluten Free Cookie Recipe
Dont Want To Do The Challenge On Your Own
For those of you would love to participate in this challenge so that you can increase your energy and start feeling better, but you feel overwhelmed by the idea of giving up gluten and dairy for 30 days, then I would love to help you!
Armed with support, guidance, and accountability, this journey can be much more manageable for you. I would like to offer you a 30 minute discovery session where I will ask you questions to help you get clarity on exactly how you would like to improve your health, and then I will offer a recommendation for you on what next step might be most useful for you. If youre interested, we can also explore how I might be able to help you through the process.
Simply click here to apply for a complimentary Discovery Session. I would love to learn more about you and help you start achieving all of your health goals!
Should Your Family Go Gluten Free
Some of my friends think Im extreme when it comes to my diet. I can handle that. I cant recommend any type of diet to my clients until Ive tried it out for myself and see the results.
Wheat free, gluten free, sugar and dairy free, vegan, vegetarian, raw, high carbs, low or no carbsIve tried them all and know how easy or hard it is to follow.
Once I had children, I realized they had a negative reaction to what I ate, while breast-feeding, and that was a game changer for me.
Food sensitivity testing proved to me that my first baby was reacting to foods that I ate and after I avoided the foods that we both reacted to, her symptoms of gassiness, diarrhea, rashes and fussiness improved.
I avoided my favourite foods and swapped them for gluten free cardboard like bread, and lived on rice cakes and crackers. I followed a restricted diet, not to lose weight or to deprive myself, but so my daughter was more comfortable and symptom free.
Seven years ago when I first embarked on a new way of eating, there really wasnt the variety of alternatives that I see today. Theres gluten free alternatives to most foods, including the unhealthy ones.
Read Also: Whole Foods Gluten Free Flour
Overlap Of Symptoms Of Ncgs Or Cd With Ibs
Many patients who have symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome will try a gluten free diet and some patients report that they have improved on a gluten free diet. Yet, a number of medical societies, in their guidelines and systematic reviews, are very careful to recommend against using a gluten free diet in the treatment of IBS.14,15 The reasoning behind these recommendations is relevant to our discussion, as the study of patients who are categorized as having IBS illustrates some of the complexities that we face when we counsel patents regarding gluten free diets.
May Help Boost Energy
People with celiac disease often feel tired or sluggish. They may also experience brain fog, which is characterized by confusion, forgetfulness, and difficulty focusing .
These symptoms may result from nutrient deficiencies caused by damage to the gut. For example, an iron deficiency can lead to anemia, which is common in celiac disease .
If you have celiac disease, switching to a gluten-free diet may help boost your energy levels and stop you from feeling tired and sluggish.
According to one literature review, people with celiac disease experienced significantly more fatigue than those without celiac disease. Not only that, but five of the seven studies included in the review concluded that following a gluten-free diet was effective at reducing fatigue (
Don’t Miss: Low Carb Gluten Free Diet
The Gluten Free Diet All You Need To Know About The Diet That Will Make You Well Again
- If you have coeliac disease you will have to avoid gluten for life.
- A gluten free diet is the only treatment for the condition.
- Gluten is found in the grains wheat, barley and rye.
- On the gluten free diet you can eat many foods including meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, rice and potatoes.
- You can also eat gluten free substitute foods and processed foods that don’t contain gluten.
- You can tell whether gluten is in a food by learning about allergen labelling – it sounds scary, but you get used to it once you know how.
If you have been medically diagnosed with coeliac disease then your immune system has been reacting to gluten and damaging your gut. To get better, you must remove gluten from your diet, which is the only treatment for coeliac disease. Gluten is found in the grains wheat, barley and rye.
You may have heard the term ‘gluten free diet’ before. This can be a bit confusing to some people because it isn’t a diet in the way that most people understand it – it’s not designed to help people lose weight. It’s just a way of eating that helps you heal your gut so you can start absorbing all the nutrients you need from your diet.
What Kinds Of Issues Can Gluten Cause
Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, can trigger a range of unpleasant symptoms in certain people.
People with gluten-related disorders typically experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, joint or bone pain, depression or anxiety, and fatigue. Children are more likely to have digestive symptoms, such as loose stools, while adults are more apt to develop osteoporosis or anemia.
Don’t Miss: Gluten Free Cafe Chicken Noodle Soup
It’s Not Just For People With Celiac Disease But Is It For You
In the world of trendy diets, gluten-free continues to be one of the most popular. This eating style is absolutely essential to people with celiac disease, who can’t tolerate even small amounts of the protein gluten, which is found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. However, many people who dont have celiac disease follow a gluten-free diet.
Immune system response to gluten
Illustration: Scott Leighton
In people with celiac disease, gluten triggersan immune system response that damages thelining of the small intestine, resulting in diarrheaand problems related to malnutrition.
May Help Relieve Digestive Symptoms
Most people try a gluten-free diet to help treat digestive problems. This includes many symptoms, such as:
Research shows that following a gluten-free diet can help ease digestive symptoms for people with celiac disease and NCGS .
According to one study of 856 people with celiac disease, those who didnt follow a gluten-free diet experienced significantly more diarrhea, indigestion, and stomach pain compared to those on a gluten-free diet .
Recommended Reading: Is Psyllium Husk Gluten Free
Risk Of Metabolic Disease
In addition to weight gain, people with celiac disease who follow a gluten-free diet need to be aware that eating gluten-free may put them at risk for metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of conditions that increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart problems.
Further research is needed to understand the connection between a gluten-free diet and metabolic syndrome, but it’s a point you should discuss with your healthcare provider.
Advice On Feeding Your Baby
Do not introduce gluten into your baby’s diet before they’re 6 months old. Breast milk is naturally gluten-free as are all infant milk formulas.
If you have coeliac disease, Coeliac UK recommends foods containing gluten are introduced gradually when a child is 6 months old. This should be carefully monitored.
The Coeliac UK website provides more information about feeding your baby.
Don’t Miss: What Are The Side Effects Of Gluten
Foods With Gluten Are Also Often Rich In Other Nutrients
If you quit gluten without changing any other aspects of your diet, you may be at risk of not getting enough of two key ingredients: fiber and vitamin B.
The eight B vitamins assist our bodies in siphoning energy from our food we eat. They also help us make red blood cells, which deliver oxygen. One in particular, called folic acid, is important for pregnant women because it helps prevent birth defects. While vitamin B is plentiful in lots of other types of food, from fish, meat, eggs, and dairy products to leafy greens, peas, and beans, it’s also found in a lot of cereals and bread products. If your diet is already lacking in these areas and you go gluten-free, you could be at risk of a deficiency.
Fiber, another ingredient that’s prevalent in bread and grains, is important for helping us control blood sugar levels, keep us feeling full after a meal, and regulating our bowel movements.
Corn And Corn Tortillas
Not being able to eat bread is difficult and many of the gluten-free versions donât taste good or they crumble when you try to spread them with mayo or peanut butter. Corn tortillas make a great alternative. Though they might not work for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, they work well with mayo, turkey, cheese and lettuce for a yummy wrap thatâs safe to eat. Taco shells and chips are also perfect for your gluten-free diet and let you make yummy dinners anytime you want.
Whatâs your favorite gluten-free food? If you check, you might be able to find gluten-free versions of things otherwise off-limits. For example, you can now buy gluten-free soy sauce. Oriental food, here we come!
Don’t Miss: How Do I Know If I Have A Gluten Intolerance