Monday, January 13

Good Eating Monday: The Truth About Gluten


"Gluten Free" seems everywhere and on everything these days---but do I really need to worry about eating gluten? 
Watching Iron Man 3 today, where Jarvis reminds Tony Stark that he had "gluten-free waffles for breakfast," spurred me to look this up.

What is gluten?: It's a protein found naturally in grains, cereals & breads--all those things that are important sources of fiber in our daily eating.

Who actually needs to avoid eating gluten?: 
According to WebMD, only people with celiac disease or those with a known allergy/sensitivity to gluten should avoid it.  For them, having this boon in gluten-free product options is a blessing.

What about the rest of us who don't have celiac or allergies to gluten? Will going gluten-free make us healthier?:
According to WebMd, the answer is "no."
In fact, going gluten-free when you don't really need to omits a ton of fiber needed for good health, weight loss and feeling full.
Plus those gluten-free packaged products may not be as healthful and nutritious as you imagine:
*Gluten free products tend to be higher in saturated fat, cholesterol and/or calories--which means they won't necessarily help you lose weight.
*And the American Dietetic Association warns gluten-free products tend to be low in important nutrients, including B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and fiber.

The bottom line:
If you don't have a medical reason for avoiding gluten, then eat what you enjoy.

Pass me the spaghetti--yo-ho!

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