Amongst the many diets right now that people feel like they need to go on to be healthier, gluten-free is up there on the list of most popular. However, unless you have a legitimate medical reason to eliminate gluten from your diet, should you really go “gluten-free?”

First things first… What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. Foods that contain gluten are bread, beer, cake, pie, cookies, some cereals, pasta, crackers, and so much more. You can basically consider anything with flour as containing gluten. 

What do people eat on a gluten-free diet?

Typically people who go on this diet eat fresh foods like vegetables, fruit, beans, seeds, nuts, unprocessed meats, and most dairy products, to name a few. There are foods in grocery stores that are now being labeled as gluten-free but these may be highly processed and not considered healthy or whole. 

Reasons to go on a gluten-free diet

Typically people eliminate gluten from their diet to manage or eliminate symptoms of celiac disease, another gluten sensitivity not classified as celiac disease, gluten ataxia, and wheat allergies. Some people do it because they think it is healthier than a diet with gluten.

Is this the case?

Actually, no! Studies have shown that there is really no proven benefit of being on a gluten-free diet unless you have a medical reason that was listed above. A gluten-free diet is not healthier than a regular diet containing gluten. 

So, should you go gluten-free? Probably not. If you do not have a medical reason to, then consider yourself blessed because you don’t have to deal with worrying about consuming gluten, whether it is from food or cross-contamination. You don’t have to spend extra money on items that don’t contain gluten, and they do tend to be expensive! Lastly, you are lucky to be able to just eat whatever you please. If you do not have the need for a gluten-free diet then there is no point in being on one.

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