Talk of gluten-free diets is everywhere these days. It’s become a fashionable trend. Honestly, it’s hard for me to understand that. If I didn’t have to suffer painful results and could eat gluten whenever I chose, no one could stop me from heading straight for my favorite artisan bakery. After seeing an news story on the trend, I started wondering how healthy it is to eliminate it if you don’t have to, and I came across a few bits of information worth sharing.
The most obvious problem with going gluten-free is a possible loss of fiber in the diet, so if you’re gluten-free be sure to get plenty of fiber. Black beans, avocado, soy beans and grapefruit are all good choices. Fruits, vegetables, beans and seeds are great fiber sources no matter what diet you’re on.
Vitamin D deficiency is another one to look out for. People with Celiac disease can become deficient in this and other vitamins because of damage to the villi in the small intestine resulting in malabsorption. Read this article from the Celiac Disease Foundation to learn more. I was diagnosed with a B12 deficiency years ago, but unfortunately no one thought to look for gluten intolerance as the cause. I take B12 injections now, but I also take a sublingual liquid B-Complex.
Vitamins B12 and D are critical for metabolism and healthy brain function, working in balance with Omega-3s and Omega-6s (read this excellent article for more information).
Again, I’m not doctor. I’m simply sharing good research as a plant-based nutrition coach, so talk to your doctor about testing for vitamin deficiencies if you have any doubt. As with anything, it comes down to being sensible. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet of whole foods and paying attention to the signals your body gives you.