gluten free diet

Pros and Cons of a Gluten-Free Diet

Curious about whether a gluten-free diet is right for you? There are plenty of factors to consider. Like any dietary decision, going gluten-free has got some benefits and drawbacks, and we’re going to look at a few of them right now, to help you decide.

Advantages: Arguments In Support Of a Gluten-Free Diet

1. Going gluten-free can make you feel sooo much better.

If you’re dealing with a constantly swollen tummy, brain fog, fatigue, or failing health due to gluten grain sensitivity, you’re going to love a gluten-free diet. It can halt the progression of celiac, and provide relief for a myriad of symptoms related to gluten intolerance.

2. You’re generally forced to eat healthier when choosing gluten-free foods.

When you’re on a gluten-free diet, you really have to stop and consider just what was in those tacos you had for lunch, or where that special sauce smothering your salad came from. Paying extra attention to the dietary details that most people miss means choosing foods that are less processed, or better yet cooked yourself at home. Many people find making a gluten-free diet plan or weekly menu helpful, as it eliminates the last minute scramble for dinner, or waiting until its too late to find a healthy snack.

3. A whole world of gluten-free options is opening up.

You’ve probably noticed–the gluten-free section at your local market is growing! In fact, you can find all sorts of gluten-free food products at the regular grocery store these days. That’s significant as it makes gluten-free baking and cooking easier; you might even find that the ingredients you need for gluten-free flour recipes on sale next time you go.

Those are some of the pros of a gluten-free diet. Of course, there are negatives to consider as well.

Drawbacks: Arguments Against a Gluten-Free Diet

1. Gluten-free is the new fad/ weight loss diet.

The idea of a gluten or wheat free diet for weight loss has been steadily gaining steam. Wheat and other glutenous grains tend to ‘gum up the works’ making it difficult to shed extra pounds. The problem happens when someone with a crash diet mentality jumps on the gluten-free bandwagon, and then can’t stick to it. A situation where you find yourself trying to remove entire food groups from your diet, binging, and then trying to remove them again is a huge stress and confusion to your body. In a case like this, it’s probably better to avoid a gluten-free diet altogether, and instead work with a nutrition plan that’s viable long term.

2. If you’re doing it for celiac or gluten sensitivity, it’s wise to commit for life.

Some people with gluten sensitivities who remove gluten from their diet for prolonged periods of time, have had severe reactions upon adding it back in. Symptoms range anywhere from feeling downright horrible to episodes of depression,  and some people reported physical symptoms which lingered for years even after returning to a gluten-free diet. For this reason, it’s a good idea not to make the switch to a gluten-free diet lightly, especially when serious underlying health challenges are suspected.

3. Prepackaged gluten-free food products are expensive.

Ok, this last one is the flip side of a positive. While the growing gluten-free product options are wonderful, the expensive price tag usually attached to these products isn’t. It’s a matter of weighing up convenience and cost, because your grocery bill is bound to get more expensive when you start adding in specialty food products. Now, if money isn’t a concern for you, this isn’t really a drawback…and you might even want to check your local restaurants for gluten-free dining options, and let someone else do the food prep for you!

These are just a few of the pluses and minuses of a gluten-free diet. While it isn’t suitable for all of us, many people are turning to a gluten-free diet to support their health goals and treat their digestive ailments. Whether this is the right choice for you will depend upon your situation, and the effect gluten has on your body.