Myth busting the gluten free diet
Gluten free diets are very popular and have been for quite some time, but they often draw people in based on a lot of myths. This article is going to bust some myths of the gluten free diet to get to the bottom of whether it’s a good choice for you.
Myth 1: “Everyone can benefit from a gluten free diet”
Only a small percentage of the population, approximately 1 percent, suffer with celiac disease. This is an autoimmune disease which triggers an immune reaction that attacks the small intestine when gluten is consumed.
This causes the small intestine to be unable to absorb nutrients, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies and autoimmune symptoms like fatigue, infertility and neurological problems.
These individuals need to be on a gluten free diet. Individuals with non-celiac gluten sensitivity will benefit from a gluten free (or gluten reduced) diet due to the reaction it causes in the body like bloating and digestive issues.
Apart from this, gluten should not be completely avoided as it contains key nutrients and vitamins, particularly fiber. Healthy individuals without celiac or gluten sensitivity will not benefit from a gluten free diet, in fact quite the opposite.
Myth 2: “Gluten free diets make you lose weight”
The reason you may lose weight on a gluten free diet is because you are cutting out a major food group and thus decreasing the total number of calories you are consuming in a day.
Cutting out gluten and keeping the total number of calories the same will not cause you to lose weight, which shows that gluten is not the food item responsible for weight gain, but rather the total calories consumed is responsible.
In fact, gluten free diets are hard to stick to for most people, so can result in eating too much of other foods. Eating high quality gluten in reasonable quantities can help you feel satiated and can help you stick to a diet for the long term, so is actually better for weight loss.
Myth 3: “A gluten free diet is healthier for you”
The healthiest diet contains whole grains, fiber, complex carbohydrates, healthy fat, lean protein and an abundance of fruits and vegetables. Cutting out gluten cuts out a lot of the fiber necessary for a healthy diet. Gluten free diets are often high in processed gluten free alternatives, which have more chemicals, sugar, fat and salt than high quality gluten-containing foods.
The key to a healthy diet is consuming high quality gluten foods like einkorn. Einkorn is rich in nutrients but has a different gluten structure to regular wheat meaning that it doesn’t trigger the same reaction for those who are sensitive to gluten. It is not processed or GMO, and is high in fiber and other key nutrients that are often lacking in a gluten free diet.