The Truth About Gluten Free Diets

By: Rebecca Meyerson, MS (Certified Nutritionist)

Gluten free diet has become a popular fad in today’s society.  Is it true that even if you do not have celiacs you can benefit from a gluten free diet?

Yes, there is some truth to this.  Gluten is the protein that is found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, and is hidden in many processed foods (including natural flavors and starches).  A gluten allergy is the body’s inability to break down this protein found in gluten.  Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten intolerance.  It involves the body treating gluten as a foreign invader.  This may contribute to leaky gut which leads to constipation, diarrhea, bloating and other skin issues.  

However, even if you do not have a gluten sensitivity or celiacs disease, a gluten free diet can be beneficial for your overall health.   When gluten is undigested it can lead to issues with digestion as well as attacking of your immune system.  In addition to digestion issues, other physical symptoms can arise such as psorasis, skin rashes, joint pain, brain fog and overall inflammation in the body.   Gluten may affect the absorption of other vitamins, minerals and nutrients.  

Implementing a gluten free diet, does not have to be so hard.  Here are some examples of gluten free options: rice, corn, quinoa, buckwheat and millet.  There are many packaged goods that are labeled gluten free.  Although it is free of gluten, it does not mean that it is a healthy product.  Aim for packaged goods with five ingredients of less.  Remember the order of ingredients go from the largest amount to the least. Although we know these products do not contain gluten, we want to take note of the added sugar, salt and other preservatives that still may be present.   Please visit my website to find out about the elimination program as well as healthy gluten free recipes. 

Rebecca Meyerson, MS is a certified nutritionist at ProClinix Sports Physical Therapy & Chiropractic, practicing in both their Armonk location (within Equinox) and their Ardsley location (within House of Sports). She can be reached at 914-202-0700. 

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