3 Dan­gers of a Gluten­Free Diet

CUT­TING OUT SOME FOODS COULD DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD

Bicycling (South Africa) - - IN MY VIEW -

If you don’t suf­fer from coeliac dis­ease, ditch­ing gluten might not of­fer you any ex­tra nu­tri­tional ben­e­fits.

“Cut­ting foods out of your diet with­out med­i­cal guid­ance could do more harm than good,” says di­eti­cian Sara Haas. “The gluten-free diet was cre­ated to help those strug­gling with coeliac, and if you don’t con­sume a va­ri­ety of nu­tri­ent- dense foods, de­fi­cien­cies can arise.”

Here are three rea­sons to think twice be­fore go­ing gluten-free. In­con­ve­nient Gut Is­sues Slash­ing gluten from your nu­tri­tion plan might up your chances of gas­troin­testi­nal trou­ble. “Fi­bre helps keep you reg­u­lar, and also helps with soft­en­ing stools; so not get­ting enough could lead to con­sti­pa­tion,” says Haas. More Pro­cessed Foods Some pack­aged gluten-free op­tions are nu­tri­tious, says Haas; but many brands im­prove taste with sugar, ex­tra fat, and un­healthy fillers, ac­cord­ing to the Gluten­Free So­ci­ety. Higher Risk Of Di­a­betes And Heart Dis­ease In a study, peo­ple who con­sumed less gluten had 13% more risk of de­vel­op­ing type 2 di­a­betes than those who ate more. And ac­cord­ing to the Bri­tish Med­i­cal

Jour­nal, cut­ting out gluten can in­crease your risk of heart dis­ease.

You can avoid these com­pli­ca­tions by choos­ing fi­bre- rich foods. “Re­mem­ber,” says Haas, “not all whole grains are banned on a gluten-free diet – just those that con­tain gluten.”

BY LAU­REL LEICHT

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