The possible benefits of eating gluten-free are being touted more frequently today than ever before. Whether going gluten-free is a fad or necessity (for those with Celiac Disease), it seems as though everyone—from celebrities to Olympic athletes—is going gluten-free. It is unfortunate that information about eliminating gluten from your diet is often confusing and misleading and can be alarmingly inaccurate. But going gluten-free can be a healthy choice when done right.
What you need to know
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. In addition to many grain products, a wide variety of processed foods can contain gluten as a hidden ingredient. All foods made with wheat flour, including bread, pasta and baked goods—as well as some cream-based soups, some lunch meats, seasonings, candy, certain alcoholic beverages and even medications—may all contain gluten.
Whether you have celiac disease or are eliminating gluten because you feel better without it, a gluten-free diet may be lacking in important nutrients like fiber, iron, folate, niacin, zinc and vitamin B12. A gluten-free multivitamin and mineral supplement is recommended as a precaution, and eating whole, minimally processed foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and gluten-free grains will ensure that your diet is nutritious.
Consult an expert
Although this diet is not recommended for everyone, a registered dietitian can be your best resource for helping you eliminate gluten in the healthiest way.
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