The Gluten Free Diet: Healthy or Not?

All Recipes Gluten Free

There is a popular misconception of the gluten free diet running around these days. (Well, there are actually multiple misconceptions, but this article only addresses one.) It goes something like this:

Gluten Free Diet=Healthy

(i.e. Gluten Free Diet=Weight Loss)

Not so! While those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance do feel significantly better once gluten is removed from their diet, the health benefits can end there. Shedding extra pounds and eating well balanced meals that contribute toward general overall health are good goals, but they require more than just cutting out gluten.

Think of it this way. The vegetarian diet gained a lot of attention about ten to fifteen years ago. Lots of people starting removing meat from their diet in order to lose weight and become healthier. Did they succeed? My guess is that there were mixed results. In order for the vegetarian diet to lead toward better health, dieters need to be knowledgeable in order to prepare well-balanced meals and ensure that their bodies receive all of the necessary nutrients.

I mean, I could go vegetarian and eat potato chips and candy all day. Does it mean that I’m healthier? Of course not! No matter what kind of diet you embrace, the goal is to eat a variety of energy-dense foods filled with nutrients (such as fruits, vegetables, meats, and grains). Simply cutting out one ingredient is not going to do wonders. It takes a combination of good food choices to make a diet work.

That said, sometimes gluten free processed foods are less healthy than their gluten counterparts. They are often made with unenriched flour, and they can be high in calories, fat, and sugar content. For a list of gluten free foods that can make you fat, click here.

As with any diet, make sure that you are eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Stay away from processed foods as much as possible, and the gluten free diet can become another avenue to good health for you.

To read more, go to “Cutting Out too Much Gluten can Lead to an Unhealthy Diet.”

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