Should Everyone Eat Gluten Free?

Baker Holding a Gluten Free Sign

Gluten free eating is becoming a popular trend in the US. The Celiac Disease Foundation notes that about 30 percent of US adults now eat foods without gluten. You might wonder, should everyone eat gluten free?

Gluten is a protein. It's common in several grains, especially wheat, but also occurs in barley, rye and triticale - a wheat/rye hybrid. Oats contain gluten of a different kind that doesn't seem to cause trouble for most people. Grains like rice and sorgum are gluten free. Many processed foods, supplements and medications may also contain gluten.

As to who should go gluten free, it depends. People who have celiac disease absolutely cannot tolerate gluten. It damages their intestines and leads to all sorts of health issues, such as diarrhea, anemia and poor nutrient absorption. Wheat allergy is not the same thing as celiac disease. The latter is an autoimmune problem, while wheat allergy is a true allergic reaction and can be life-threatening. The final group is those people who just don't seem to tolerate wheat very well; perhaps it gives them gastrointestinal symptoms or joint pains.

Celiac disease and wheat allergy can be confirmed through medical testing. Wheat intolerance is usually based on people's reactions when they eat wheat. For these folks, it may not be the gluten that's actually the problem. The bottom line? People who have celiac disease or wheat allergy must eat gluten free, which means they must make major changes in their diets and be very careful to read food labels. Those who have wheat intolerance may simply feel better keeping wheat off the table. In any case, eating gluten free won't necessarily help you lose weight.

A real food diet, behavior changes and help from the folks at Metabolic Research Center can help you achieve your weight loss goals. Call today to schedule a free, no obligations consultation.


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