Going gluten-free is a popular trend that is part of the guidelines of many diets (like Paleo and Whole30). More and more health-conscious people are shunning wheat products believing that gluten is bad for them. But this is a common misconception and may cause more harm than good in the long run.
Avoiding gluten completely is not a good idea unless you have celiac disease or a serious wheat allergy. Cutting out wheat and grain products from your diet could deprive your body of the vital nutrients that it requires. Additionally, gluten-free products are not as healthy as many people think they are. Here are three reasons to reconsider your gluten-free diet.
A Gluten-Free Diet Will Not Help You Lose Weight
Many people opt for a gluten-free diet because they think it will help them lose weight, even though they are not allergic or intolerant to wheat products. However, there is evidence to suggest that the opposite may be true- gluten-free diets could actually lead to weight gain.
It’s not uncommon to start feeling better after cutting out gluten. But this is more due to the fact that people who make this diet change are eating fewer processed foods. Chances are that they’re consuming more fruits and vegetables and cooking at home often. The weight loss may have nothing to do with gluten itself and is difficult to sustain over time.
Complex Carbohydrates Are Necessary to Stay Healthy
Whole grains contain antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber which are all vital nutrients. Consuming whole grains can help you feel full for longer and maintain stable blood sugar levels. When your body is deprived of these complex carbohydrates, you’re putting yourself at risk of health issues related to insulin resistance and higher inflammation. While health supplements can help stave off some of these adverse effects, they can never be as beneficial as real food.
Gluten-Free Packaged Foods Are Not Always Healthy
Some consumers tend to believe that any product that’s marked ‘gluten-free’ must be good for them. But this is not always the case. One reason why gluten-free is not synonymous with healthy is that these processed foods are often higher in preservatives, sugar, and other additives to make up for the lack of carbs.
If you do decide to eliminate gluten from your diet, make sure you replace it with other healthy grains like buckwheat or quinoa. Follow a balanced diet and include plenty of fruits and vegetables. However, if you don’t have a wheat allergy or celiac disease you’re not likely to benefit from going gluten-free.
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