Is eating gluten free healthy?

19th February, 2014

Delicious bread!Going gluten free has become very popular over the past few years. However, many people who eat gluten free, don’t need to.

If you feel better eating gluten free (unless you have Coeliac disease) the reason you feel better is most likely not due to cutting out gluten, but due to other changes that have occurred in the process.

Here are some examples of the other changes to your eating that occur when you start eating gluten free.

1. You cook and prepare more of your own food, which usually means you eat more vegetables, and other fresh whole foods.

2. You decrease your intake of packaged processed foods and therefore reduce your intake of preservatives, refined sugar and less healthy fats.

3. You eat out less and buy less take-away and when you do, you make more careful (and usually healthier) food choices.

4. When you cut out gluten containing grains, you also reduce your intake of fructans (a class of carbohydrate) which also trigger gut and bowel symptoms in some people.

5. You simply become more AWARE of what you are eating and this alone means you start eating better.

With a few exceptions, the only people who need to eat gluten free are those who have been medically diagnosed with Coeliac disease. While there may be some non-Coeliac people who cannot tolerate gluten, this is not the case for the majority who don’t have Coeliac.

With so many ready to eat gluten free foods available today, many high in calories (mostly from fat and sugar), it is also very useful to bear the following mantra in mind…

“It’s gluten free, not glutton free”

Just because a food is gluten free doesn’t make it a healthier choice. Gluten containing foods such as bread and pasta can be part of a very healthy diet, but like all foods, should be eaten in moderation.