4 Risks of a Gluten Free Diet
If you have celiac disease, you are well aware that you need to adopt a gluten-free diet. Celiac patients’ immune systems attack the lining of their small intestines whenever they ingest gluten, and this attack over time can lead to nutrient malabsorption, fatigue, and chronic pain. Countless others have adopted the gluten-free diet as a means to remedy the symptoms of other autoimmune conditions, depression, and skin rashes. Regardless of a patient’s reason for cutting out gluten, he or she should be aware of a few risks that could be associated with the diet.
Wheat and other gluten-containing grains are rich in B-vitamins, so if a person were to cut out all products containing gluten for celiac disease or another condition, he or she may be avoiding enriched bread and cereals without replacing these nutrients. Consider filling your diets with other whole grains like quinoa, amaranth, and brown rice to make up for the lack of vitamins and fiber in your diet.
Blood Sugar Concerns
Though higher blood sugar does not affect everyone who eats a gluten-free diet, know that if you eat a lot of processed gluten-free foods or replace your gluten-containing foods with white rice and other starchy grains, your blood sugar may skyrocket and contribute to the development of diabetes as a result.
Increased Consumption of Junk Food
It’s easy to find snacks, chips, and candy that’s labeled “gluten-free”, but these products are no healthier than their gluten-containing counterparts. When you are switching to this new way of eating, be sure to replace your gluten-containing products with healthy alternatives.
Skipping the Celiac Test
If you think you have Celiac but have not been tested, make sure to do so before adopting the gluten-free diet. Being tested while not eating gluten can lead to a false-negative result, meaning that you may have Celiac but your test reads like you don’t. This can be dangerous because you may not be as careful as you need to be, and you may not address all the other problems associated with Celiac disease if you do not know for sure that you have it.
The gluten-free diet can be very beneficial for some people, but it’s important to check with a doctor or nutritionist before undertaking such a diet if you plan to stick with it long-term. Whether you decide to be gluten-free or not, make it a priority to eat a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods to ensure a lifetime of good health.