Gluten-free diet is undoubtedly on the rise.
This past summer, a market research by the NPD Group revealed that 70 million Americans admitted to have consciously been trying to cut down on gluten consumption. The BBC News relayed that 60% of adults in the UK have admitted to buying gluten-free product.
While in Canada, the Canadian Celiac Association reported that about one in 133 Canadians suffer from Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disorder that prevents them from breaking down the network of proteins.
Nowadays gluten-free diets aren’t just a mandatory choice made by those who suffer from the repercussions of Celiac Disease, it’s also taken a spotlight within the health and fitness community.
Here are some things to consider before eliminating the gluten contents of your meals:
It’s not necessary
Unless you have Celiac’s or have another form of gluten sensitivity, eliminating gluten from your diet isn’t necessary. Many believe that bloating, fatigue, and irritated skin is a by-product of gluten consumption. However, despite the rising fad of gluten-free diets, scientific research remains inconclusive. Peter Gibson’s American Journal of Gastroenterology has been considered as among the foremost studies in the state of gluten, but even Gibson himself told The New Yorker that the other complex carbohydrates that are found within wheat could also be the reason that non-celiacs are unable to digest efficiently.
Not every grain has gluten
Dropping gluten out of your diet doesn’t mean the total elimination of grain products. You can still eat things such as quinoa, buckwheat, millet and amaranth.
Weight loss isn’t a guarantee
This is reliant on how you go about dropping gluten. Substituting wheat products with their gluten-free alternatives may not necessarily produce the results you want since most of these alternatives carry extra sugar and calories. On the other hand, opting for whole grains as opposed to refined carbs can lead to the benefits that you might have in mind.
Be mindful and be patient with conversations
Any form of fitness-driven diets can involuntarily induce a sense of snobbery. It can also lead to ridicule from the people around you (both jokingly and seriously). Be prepared to talk about the reasons why you’re ditching gluten, and be mindful of not putting others down.
Talk to your doctor
Ultimately, you don’t want to self-diagnose. Talk to your doctor or a dietician and see if going gluten free would be better for you. Just because celebrities and most people are doing it, doesn’t mean you should, too.
At the end of the day, your body dictates the benefits and downsides of going gluten-free. Make sure that’s the factor behind your decision, and not the popularity of the diet fad.