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News / Life / Food

Pros and cons of gluten-free life

By Ebony Williams, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published: May 10, 2024, 6:04am

There’s always a new trend when it comes to eating healthier and losing weight. Many toy around with the idea of ditching gluten. For some, the absence of gluten is necessary because of health reasons.

According to Very Well Health, about 20 million people have a gluten sensitivity and could experience hives and rashes, stuffy and runny nose, sneezing, headaches, asthma, and stomach issues like indigestion, vomiting and more.

If you’re part of the population that doesn’t have a gluten intolerance, experts say there’s no reason to fully ax its presence in your diet. In fact, you could be doing more harm than good.

“Gluten-free packaged products tend to have lower nutritional quality than their gluten-containing counterparts,” Vanessa Weisbrod, chief education and community engagement officer for the Celiac Disease Foundation, told HuffPost. “So if you don’t need to be gluten-free, these products are not any healthier and perhaps have a lower nutritional value.”

Before diving into this new lifestyle, here are a few pros and cons to living a gluten-free life, according to Very Well Fit.

Pros

  • It’s used to treat celiac and gluten sensitivity.
  • It focuses on whole foods.
  • The diet is flexible and can be adjusted to suit other needs, such as dairy-free.
  • It can improve lactose intolerance in some people.

Cons

  • It tends to be low in fiber.
  • Nutritional deficiencies.
  • Limits restaurant options.
  • Many packaged gluten-free foods are unhealthy.

The purpose of a nutritious diet is to give your body what it needs to function properly. If you want to explore the world of a gluten-free life, consider replacements for iron, calcium, folate, fiber, thiamin, niacin and riboflavin, which are often left out of the diet.

If you expand the diet to products, then you might want to consider ditching the following, considering they often contain gluten:

  • Lipstick, lip gloss, lip balm
  • Play-Doh
  • Some medications and supplements
  • Communion wafers

Preparing to become gluten-free should be done in steps to avoid bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain and other gastrointestinal symptoms.

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