As with any health or dietary choices, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. While the gluten free diet can be helpful for some people, it may also do more harm than good.
If you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, going gluten free can alleviate your symptoms and help you live better. It can also make you feel great in general! Symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, and fatigue can be relieved when you remove gluten from your diet. In addition to helping you feel better, a gluten-free diet can give you more nutrients than you normally get. It can also boost your energy and make you think more clearly.
Many wellness influencers promote a gluten-free diet for its potential benefits of weight loss, increased energy, and a less bloated belly. This is because gluten can trigger inflammation and damage the lining of the small intestine. However, if you don’t have celiac disease or an intolerance to gluten, going gluten free might not be as beneficial for you. In fact, you may be more likely to gain weight on a gluten-free diet than lose it. If you do go gluten free, you should still be mindful of your food choices and check nutrition labels to make sure your diet is nutrient-dense. For example, you may want to include calcium-rich dairy products like milk or tofu in your meals.
While a gluten free diet is often recommended for those with celiac disease or a wheat allergy, it can also be helpful for those who do not have these conditions. People with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), which is more common than either celiac disease or wheat allergy, experience digestive symptoms that improve when they eliminate gluten from their diet. This is because gluten, which is the protein found mainly in wheat and other grains, triggers an immune response that causes gut inflammation. This leads to gastrointestinal discomfort, which makes it harder for your body to digest food properly.