The Problems With a Gluten-Free Diet

Exploring Intensity

The Problems With a Gluten-Free Diet

We don’t want to wade into the increasingly tumultuous argument over who does and doesn’t have celiac disease. It’s not our job here to judge what anyone thinks they may or may not have.

But, with that said, there are some important things to know about gluten and your body.

As you may or may not know, the percentage of people who actually have celiac disease, which is what causes gluten intolerance, is about 1%. But gluten-free diets have become the rage across the world as people tend to think that there is something inherently wrong with gluten and it needs to be avoided. For those without celiac disease, avoiding gluten can lead to some unintended consequences.

As this article points out, eating gluten products actually does provide some important nutrients for the body:

That includes studies that have found increased rates of metabolic syndrome among people who switch to a gluten-free diet, presumably due to poor nutritional quality of gluten-free replica products. Other studies have reported people developing deficiencies in folate, thiamine, and iron, which are added to grain products by law. 

There is also an interesting bit for parents who are trying to keep their kids away from eating too much rice, due to arsenic fears — a lot of gluten-free products are actually replaced with rice. And not to mention, gluten-free products are more expensive. Celiac disease is very real and can be a serious problem for patients who continue to eat gluten after being diagnosed. Gluten-free products are a great way to alleviate the problems celiac patients may face. But if you’re avoiding gluten because it’s “the thing to do,” you may be doing more harm than good.
-Shane M.