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Is Eating “Gluten Free” Damaging Your Health?

By on May 26, 2014
These days you can’t go to a grocery store without finding some sort of gluten-free labeled product. This is great for those suffering from Celiac disease or other conditions that require them to cut out gluten. But, should you really be going gluten free if you don’t have a gluten intolerance? Gluten free diets are essential for those who cannot tolerate it, but going gluten free because you think it is healthier could actually put you at risk.

Gluten Free Doesn’t Mean You’ll Lose Weight

Most people assume if they cut gluten products, the weight will just melt off. That’s not necessarily true. In fact, plenty of people who eat whole grains have experienced just as much of a dramatic loss of weight as those who cut out the grains. The only difference is, the people eating wheat are getting the fiber, minerals and vitamins they need.

Also, a lot of gluten replacement products are highly processed. In fact, some of these products can make you gain more weight — and they aren’t all that cheap to purchase either. Some gluten free products are high in cholesterol, calories and are essentially empty calories.

You Could Lose Out on Vitamins

Gluten isn’t a vitamin, but when you cut breads and other products that don’t contain gluten, you are missing out on essential vitamins. Folate, for example, can get axed when you go on a gluten free diet and not having folate could increase amino acid homocysteine and increase your chances for a heart attack by over 200 percent. Also, if you’re pregnant and you’re cutting gluten, your child could not get the amount of folate they need to develop properly.

Ask a Doctor First

Cutting out gluten before getting tested for celiac disease could actually give false results. If you suffer from symptoms of celiac or gluten sensitivity (i.e. bloating after eating, foggy mind, constipation or diarrhea), you should see a physician first. Your doctor can run tests to see if your problem is because of gluten or another underlying condition.

Be Smart

There’s no harm in cutting down on your gluten products, but your diet should be full of natural foods — not gluten replacement products. Stick to lean meats, fresh fish, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products. These are safe, full of vitamins and nutrients, and will ensure you don’t become malnourished just because you’re cutting out gluten.

Readers: What are your thoughts on gluten free? Have you cut the gluten even if you don’t have Celiac?

Resources:

www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-kitchen-11/truth-about-gluten?page=2

www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/nutrition/diet-myths-debunked/

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5 Comments

  1. Joan

    June 1, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    I never subscribed to this site – how can I INSUBSCRIBE?!

    • Health Cracker

      June 12, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      Hey Joan,

      No problem, it should be at the bottom of the page… if you’re still having issues you can contact us at support@healthcracker.com

  2. Maxine Kaufman-Lacusta

    June 1, 2014 at 11:48 am

    I agree with your advice on the whole, but there are acceptions. My daughter (age 50) had been suffering from frequent migraines and difficulty losing weight, despite a quite active lifestyle. She cut out wheat when she noticed the headaches were most often the day after the family’s weekly “pizza night.” There was improvement, but when she cut out all gluten-containing foods, not only did her migraines virtually disappear, she started losing weight spontaneously. She tested negative for celiac, so maybe she’s simply allergic to gluten. I’ve heard of quite a few other folks who reacted well to cutting gluten out, even if not “technically” celiac. Watching out what’s in the gluten free substitutes is certainly a good idea. She’s started baking with teff, for example, and is quite knowledgeable about diet in general (she’s a veterinarian). Thanks for your informative articles.
    Maxine in Canada

  3. June Duncan

    May 31, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    As with all things, knowledge is power. I suggest readers watch the following videos and a good place to start is with the Truth about Gluten with Dr. Adrian J. den Boer watch this youtube video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=IU6jVEwpjnE www.drdenboer.com/

    then watch Dr. William Davis MD Cardiologist who has written a book “Wheat Belly”. He does NOT recommend Gluten Free Products, watch his amazing video at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GC1vMBRFiwE

    then check out ‘Grain Brain’ by Dr Perlmutter MD – Neurologist www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgu7wiDRaLU

    I think you’ll agree this is amazing information.
    May God Bless. 🙂

  4. Diane Mundy

    May 29, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    My doctor and my nutritionist said not to eat Low Fat. When fat is taken out, the products taste awful, and so corn syrup or cane sugar is put in to make them taste good (and become addictive). Would you please discuss this. thanks.

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