Why Gluten-Free? How do I know?

Often restaurants are perplexed and somewhat irritated when they have a request for a GF meal. The reasons why people follow a GF diet can explain GF choices and why these really matter.   

  1. A gluten-free diet may improve inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and autoimmune conditions. These conditions have been anecdotally improved in many people by adherence to a gluten-free diet. However, this may vary from one individual to the next.
  2. Weight Loss- There is no clear evidence that a GF diet will promote weight loss. The consumption of more refined carbohydrates and processed foods may increase weight. Best to stay with whole foods and avoid gluten if weight loss is your aim
  3. Allergy-  Skin conditions, trouble breathing, and digestive upsets like irritable bowel may be related to wheat or gluten consumption for some people. You should take gluten seriously as it can cause serious side effects.
  4. Gluten Sensitivity-  This is a genuine concern, and people who experience feeling ill or getting some symptoms either immediately or delayed, which can cause distress, could be related to Gluten Sensitivity. It can happen every few days and not necessarily daily. A gluten-free diet is recommended until further investigation. 
  5. Celiac Disease- Minimal amounts of gluten may cause serious illness. Symptoms vary from mild to severe and can occur several hours after a meal or the next day. This is very serious and can cause internal damage and long-term health conditions. All food must be kept away from gluten in wheat, other grains, processed foods, etc., and when dining out, it must be at a place that supports your dietary needs. 

It’s best to eat various foods, including whole grains, lots of vegetables, fruit, and avoid processed foods with high fat, sugar content, and sometimes containing gluten-based additives.  

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