To Be Gluten-free or Not to be, that is the Question

There is nothing “free” about living the Gluten-free Diet. Even the most dedicated foodie would be challenged by Gluten restrictions, which if you’ve ever read a nutrition label is in seemingly everything. Yet there’s a spike in those joining the cause. Men, women and children are all dropping plates and brandishing dishes of the Gluten-free way. These people are hardcore. But are they really on to something or is it merely fad foolishness? The truth is well hidden in celebrity testimonials and contradicting advice. Before deciding if you too should take up arms, be aware of the facts; know them and the many misconceptions that Gluten-free diets offer.

Gluten-free diet is it right for me

Let’s Talk About Gluten-Free

The Facts

Very few people need to be on a Gluten-free diet. This would be those with Celiac Disease (an auto immune disease that leaves a person unable to digest gluten – proteins in wheat, rye and barley) and the diet is the only known way to battle it. In the case of my wife, this is true to her. Likewise there are those who are Gluten sensitive and wheat allergic. The diet is their best bet to a comfortable lifestyle.

In recent years many have been seeking out the diet for various other health concerns. The growing endorsement of athletes, actors and television personalities is endless. For many the diet has been working great and praise the benefits of new found energy and a pleased digestive system. Since I’ve only joined the diet by association, I can honestly say I feel a difference myself. However at the time there is no conclusive medical evidence to support these claims and many a physician warns against being Gluten-free for the sake of fad.

The Misconceptions

Going Gluten-free does not promote weight loss. I know, I’ve spoken blasphemy. Feel free to tar and feather me. Most Gluten substitutes actually contain more calories than their counterparts and the ingredients actually hinder fat burning. They are also less filling resulting in more consumption. No bueno for those looking to shed some pounds. The truth behind weight loss in Miley Cyrus or Kim Kardashian isn’t certain, but they do have professional nutritionists backing them. Something most of us don’t have. Or maybe being mindful of what you eat is all you need for weight loss and health gains.

As nutritionists know, excluding Gluten foods can result in a lack of nutrition as well. If you do not carefully monitor your diet it may result in iron, magnesium, fiber and B12 deficiencies; so when going in to the diet be sure to get these nutrients through other foods and supplemental vitamins. Being healthier is a balance as the food pyramid taught us, not just taking out the bad stuff.

Now what?

It seems there is more negative things to say about the diet than positive. But the truth is there isn’t enough science to support a Gluten-free diet for a non-Celiacs. The evidence however is compelling. An enriched life with a better digestive system, feeling energized and possible weight loss are all reasons to take up the challenge. So perhaps going into the trenches of dietary warfare is worth it, give it a shot if you think it’s for you.

However if you suspect you may have Celiac Disease the recommended course of action is to be tested by a physician. If diagnosed negative but suspect you may be Gluten sensitive or wheat allergic simply cut down on foods containing Gluten. These are more difficult to diagnose so making a conscious effort is key. The Gluten-free diet after all was developed for people such as yourself.

Now that you know what there is to be known, continue to question and keep up with Gluten-free developments. Nutritionists and enthusiasts will continue to debate, but as with any person we are all different. So finding the right diet for your needs is something that can’t be told but must be tried.