Should My Family Eat A Gluten-Free Diet? Part 1

Wondering if you and your kids should go gluten free? Have you ever tried a gluten free diet? 

A lot more people are experimenting with removing gluten from their diets. People say they experience reduced brain fog, better energy, better digestion, and more.

Should you go gluten-free?

There is not much existing research on gluten sensitivity, and there is no test that can tell you if you have a sensitivity to gluten that is not an allergy. I repeat – there is NO test that can definitively say you are sensitive to gluten. There ARE food sensitivity tests that exist, but they are not totally accurate.

So how in the heck are you supposed to know if you or your kids are one of the people who would benefit from a gluten free diet?

What symptoms do you have?

First, you have to ask yourself what kind of symptoms you, or your child, is experiencing. If you feel healthy, have good digestion, and no real complaints, and you eat foods that contain gluten (wheat, bread, pasta, cereal) – then you likely do not have a sensitivity to gluten. Keep calm and carry on (eating gluten).

Gluten has been so demonized in the past few years. It does not have to be something you are afraid of. If you’re not having any negative symptoms, then please, don’t restrict your diet unnecessarily just because it seems *healthier* to avoid gluten. It may be healthier for you to remove it, but it may not.

You just wanted an easy answer here, didn’t you?

We can’t ignore the reports of people who do feel better when they remove gluten from their diet. Every single person has different DNA, different microbiomes, different digestive capabilities. So it’s nearly impossible to recommend a specific diet without analyzing a person’s own unique needs.

To complicate things even further – I believe that sometimes, it’s not gluten that’s the problem, rather the types of foods that often contain gluten.

Many gluten-containing foods are low in nutrients and highly processed. Think cold cereal, crackers, cookies, cakes, chips, pasta, white bread, etc. And while there is usually nothing wrong with eating these foods on occasion, when we eat them often, it can make us feel pretty crummy, whether we are sensitive to gluten or not. When you eat these types of foods every day, you may not even realize that you don’t feel as good as you can.

In my next post, I will walk you through what it looks like to have a gluten free diet, because it is not one size fits all. There are a few different ways to approach it – some are healthier than others.

And, I will tell you exactly how you can find out whether you, or your kids, should be on a gluten-free diet.


 

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  1. Pingback: Should We Go Gluten Free? Part 2 - Mama Knows Nutrition

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