Unhealthy Gluten-Free Diets - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Unhealthy Gluten-Free Diets

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Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition.

The immune system kind of attacks the small intestine if gluten is eaten. It's not something that's tolerated by the body," says Dietitian, Kendal Bjella. 

And dietitians say it can lead to malnutrition if it's not diagnosed.

"People aren't able to absorb the nutrients in their small intestine like they need to," says Bjella. 

It's important to keep in mind that a gluten allergy doesn't mean a person is allergic to lets say...pasta or bread. It's actually an allergy to the protein that's in wheat, barley or rye. And dietitians say, if you do have Celiac disease and you're following a gluten-free diet, make sure you balance that diet with other foods. 

"You want to make sure to talk with a dietitian or really look into things that would also be whole grains and gluten-free," says Bjella. "Also, a diet high in fruits and vegetables and alternate whole grains and lean meats."

And even though it's called a gluten-free diet you still have to have some portion control. 

"If you make a gluten-free pizza, you still can't eat the whole pizza," says Bjella. "Gluten-free doesn't mean there's any less calories or fat or anything like that."

Now, dietitians say if you aren't suffering from Celiac disease, starting a gluten-free diet will certainly not prevent you from gaining weight. 

"It doesn't necessarily mean that things are less processed if it's gluten-free, cuz things could be made from white rice flour and we want people to be eating as many whole grains as they can," says Bjella. 

A diet that eliminates gluten can also lead to other deficiencies.

"A lot of times when people are cutting out the wheat, barley and rye, they're cutting out the whole wheat from their diet," says Bjella. "And that's an important part of your diet cuz that has fiber. And then a lot of the grain products are also the foods that are fortified with B vitamins and the iron. So sometimes people can become deficient in those B vitamins."

So if you have Celiac disease, remember to think portion control and balance your meals. But if you're trying to eliminate gluten for automatic weight loss, dietitians suggest thinking again. 

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