Scan the aisle next time you’re in the grocery store and you’ll find that “gluten-free” has become a trendy title. To those who suffer from gluten intolerance, the flood of new food options is a relief. However, many people have decided to ban gluten to improve their health. For those who don’t have a gluten sensitivity or Celiac Disease, here are few considerations to keep in mind before you cut out gluten entirely:
1. You may be avoiding key nutrients
Gluten-free foods are often not fortified with the vitamins and nutrients our body needs. By avoiding gluten, you can risk developing a nutrient deficiency, particularly with vitamin B12, folate, vitamin D, iron, magnesium, calcium and zinc.
2. Whole grains can help fuel your day
Eating carbs is not always bad for your health. Carbohydrates, which are present in gluten, comprise 50-55% of a well-balanced diet and are your body’s main source of energy. Of course, half of your diet shouldn’t be composed of bread, but whole grains can help you reach the necessary level of carbohydrates to fuel your daily activities.
3. Gluten-free products are expensive
Gluten-free products are often expensive, thus it can be difficult to financially sustain a gluten-free diet (especially when your body does not require it). These foods also often tend to be low in fiber, which can possibly cause digestive problems, as well as high cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
4. Your digestive issues may be linked to something else
You may have a food sensitivity, but it may not necessarily be to gluten. There are other foods that can contribute to gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort or other symptoms. Before you go gluten-free, check with your gastroenterologist to ensure you understand the source of your digestive issues.
A plant-centered, fiber-rich diet with whole grains can help boost your healthy gut microbiome and ward off inflammation. Also, don’t forget the basics – get enough sleep, exercise regularly and reduce stress when possible!
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Florida Digestive Disease Specialists
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