5 Reasons to Avoid the Gluten-Free Aisle

The Truth about Gluten-Free Foods You May Not Know

Gluten-free foods are all the rage. And although going gluten-free is an important diet choice for some people, it’s not a fad that everyone should be jumping on.

In fact there are a lot of reasons to avoid a gluten-free diet. If you don’t have celiac disease or some kind of gluten intolerance, you might want to think twice before you hit the gluten-free aisle.

Here’s what’s wrong with going gluten-free (if you don’t have to)…

1. Gluten-Free Foods can be Low in Nutritional Value

A lot of people associate gluten-free foods with health, but the truth is, many gluten-free products lack the nutrients you’d find in other foods. The more processed refined an item is, the more that’s lost along with it, and that’s true of wheat that’s gluten-free.

Here are some of the vitamins and minerals that are often low (or missing altogether) in gluten-free products:

  • Iron
  • Niacin
  • Folate
  • Thiamine
  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin B12
  • Phosphorus

2. Gluten-Free Foods can be High in Sugar

Sugar is the most common ingredient added to food when something is removed. When it comes to gluten-free products, sugar is often added to maintain stability and texture. And sugar is all wrong if one of your goals is to get fit and lose weight, as it only leads to weight gain over time. Plus, the kind of sugar we’re usually dealing with is refined, processed sugar that’s really bad for your blood sugar levels.

3. Gluten-Free Foods can be High in Fat

The other ingredient that’s often added as a replacement is fat. Fats, usually in the form of refined oils, help enhance the flavor and keep gluten-free products together. You’ve got to watch for oils like vegetable, canola, safflower, and sunflower oils, as they’re all very refined and high in omega-6 fatty acids, which most of us have more of than we need (and they can cause inflammation).

4. Gluten-Free Foods Contain More Preservatives

Aside from sugar and fat, other chemical preservatives are often added to wheat products when the gluten is removed. This is just to enhance shelf-life, but the impact on your health can be pretty big. These ones are a little more difficult to identity on labels, but if you see a bunch of long chemical names, you can assume unnatural and therefore unhealthy.

5. Gluten-Free Foods Still Contain Wheat

There are a lot of health experts and nutritionists out there who are beginning to advocate against wheat altogether, not just gluten. For the average person, what may be the thing you really want to avoid on a healthy diet. There’s new evidence that it causes inflammation (much like refined sugar), and it seems like wheat may also lead to a lot of bloating.

To learn more about the potential problems with wheat, read my article, Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight. For anyone who doesn’t have a serious medical condition that prevents them from eating gluten, this may be a better approach.

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