Gluten free eating has gained attention and popularity in recent years. This is probably partly due to increased awareness of Celiac disease, which requires a gluten free diet for treatment. It is also likely due to increased awareness of wheat allergy and wheat intolerance, both in kids and adults. For more information about the differences between these conditions, as well as accompanying symptoms, see my previous blog, Is Gluten Bad for You?
Unless you fall into one of the above mentioned conditions, going gluten free will not necessarily improve health. In other words, eating wheat (which contains gluten) in moderation is perfectly healthy, especially if it is whole grain wheat. Some people wonder if going gluten free can help with weight loss. The answer is, not necessarily. If wheat represents a large part of your family’s caloric intake, then removing wheat without replacing it with other equally calorie-dense foods could result in weight loss. Or if your family’s diet contains a lot of high calorie processed foods made with wheat, and you remove these and replace them with lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and other whole grains, then you will definitely see health improvements. But removing wheat alone will not likely result in weight loss.
In any case, it is always good to eat a variety of foods in regular rotation of family meals. Since wheat is so prevalent in many of our households, it might take some thinking ‘outside the box’ to make gluten free meals. Read more