Should I Adopt a Gluten-Free Diet?
A new article published in The Wall Street Journal seeks to answer the popular question of whether or not a gluten-free diet offers real health benefits. Today, nearly 30% of Americans try to avoid products that contain gluten, but only a small percentage are actually gluten intolerant. The majority of people follow a gluten-free diet because they believe the diet offers significant health benefits. But, there is an abundance of research and experts who state that those who don’t suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivities gain no nutritional benefits from consuming a gluten-free diet.
In a video for the Wall Street Journal, nutritionist and digestive health specialist, Amy Burkhart, MD, RD states that many of her patients who adopted a gluten-free diet actually gained weight. Burkhart notes that a gluten-free diet is lower in fiber, protein, and vitamin B and can be higher in carbs and sugar.
Looking for more information about gluten and your diet? Here are some other interesting facts from the article:
- Gluten is a protein found in wheat and related grains, and our bodies need a substantial amount of protein to work properly. Since we use protein to build and repair tissues, we need to be consuming an abundance of protein regularly.
- When gluten is removed from foods, less nutrient dense items like corn or rice are added to maintain the food’s consistency. By taking out gluten and replacing it with its non-gluten counterparts, people are losing vital nutrients in their diets.
- Gluten-free diets are lower in fiber, and fiber helps to control blood sugar levels & lowers cholesterol.
Food companies have made products like pasta, available for those with Celiac Disease and gluten insensitively, but it’s important to remember that not every diet needs to be gluten free. To find out more about gluten, check out our Pasta FAQs or Pasta Nutrition page.