That is the question. Lately, many popular food brands have been aiming to please their more health-conscious customers with new flavors, less sugar and salt, all-natural ingredients, or anything else that they think will sell more of their product. The newest hyped-up health option to be fully stocked on many grocery store shelves? Gluten-free goods. Going gluten-free is nothing new to people with celiac disease or those with wheat sensitivities. However, a new crowd of gluten-free evangelists are singing the praises of many of these targeted products. Admonishment of gluten is making waves in the health food world, and gluten-free goods are taking the place of many types of pasta, breads, chips, and additional foods that are normally made with wheat and other grains like rye. Everyone has the burning question on their minds: is going gluten-free really the way to be?
Unless you are diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you really shouldn’t be taking gluten away from your diet. Celiac disease is a condition that reacts to the ingestion of gluten, causing damage to the lining of the small intestine which in turn prevents nutrients being used by the body. Other people who may have a little digestive discomfort after eating products made with gluten can substitute other foods into their diets or try eating gluten in smaller proportions. There’s a lot of pseudo-science floating around that claims gluten is a “toxin,” and it’s simply not true. Our ancestors have been eating wheat-based products for thousands of years. Cultivating wheat was one of our earliest agricultural achievements.
Unless you have some kind of diagnosed gluten intolerance, there’s no real reason to stop eating it. Grains are often essential to our diets. Many whole-grain products containing gluten are also sources of vitamins, iron, and fiber. Gluten is a protein found in many foods that we eat every day without even knowing it. Cutting gluten from your diet would mean cutting out many otherwise healthy foods your body has become accustomed to eating. Drastically removing a huge source of nutrient-rich foods from your diet could be detrimental to your overall health, as well as lead to the risk of nutritional deficiency. If you’re concerned about weight loss, simply reducing your portion sizes and minding calories is equally or more effective than cutting out most grains completely.
If you are choosing the gluten-free lifestyle, don’t be fooled by the eye-catching font on the pretty chip bag. Don’t make the mistake of equating a health-craze buzzword with actual health. Look at the nutritional fact slip on the back of the product to see what the product contains and how well-balanced the ingredients are. There are other grain options available, like quinoa and amaranth, which don’t contain gluten but still offer nutritional value. Understanding that our bodies need a well-balanced diet containing grains, vegetables, and fruits can also help you on your gluten-free journey.
Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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