Who Should Follow a Gluten-Free Diet?

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Who Should Follow a Gluten-Free Diet?

When you’re looking at food packaging, it can be easy to get carried away with the marketing terminology. Not all of these buzzwords actually mean much, as far as health goes. So when you see “gluten-free” on a food package, does that mean it’s better for you? And how do these foods fit into your medical weight loss plan?

In the case of “gluten-free” foods, the terminology isn’t just a marketing trick. This is important information for people who have celiac disease. While they only make up about one percent of the population, those with celiac disease cannot process gluten in foods. So this marking on food packaging is more than just a buzzword. People with celiac disease need this information, so that they can choose foods that won’t make them seriously ill.

So does “gluten-free” mean anything to the rest of us? It does appear that some people can be “sensitive” to gluten, without having actual celiac disease. If you’ve followed an elimination diet and identified gluten as a possible cause of diarrhea, bloating, or fatigue, then following a gluten-free diet could help you manage those symptoms.

But what about the rest of us? Would a gluten-free diet be helpful, or maybe even aid your medical weight loss plan? It’s possible.

Gluten is often linked to highly processed foods, or those that contain a lot of sugar, bleached flour, and empty calories. When you eliminate these foods from your diet, you might become motivated to eat more fruits and veggies, lean meats, and other foods that fit into your new lifestyle. Coincidentally, those are also the same foods we recommend on a medical weight loss plan.

But not all gluten is bad. Food products that contain whole wheat are also high in fiber and other important nutrients. Eating these, within the correct limits, should be fine for anyone who doesn’t have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity.

So no, “gluten-free” isn’t just a buzzword, and it doesn’t automatically mean a food is healthier. But for some people, this wording on food packages can be extremely important.

To learn more about which foods fit into a balanced medical weight loss plan, call our office to schedule an appointment. We can help you learn more about nutrition, so that you can improve your health and lifestyle.