Eating gluten free is a trend that just keeps on growing and the movement is showing no signs of slowing down. Less than 1% of Australians have been diagnosed with coeliac disease and for some people, the adverse effects of gluten consumption are very real. For others, they often just feel better when they leave gluten out of their diet or they are onboard with the latest gluten free health craze. Whatever it is, eating gluten free can have its benefits.
Nowadays, choosing to eliminate gluten from your diet is much easier. There are a whole host of products and brands available that cater for the gluten free consumer and leaving gluten off your plate occasionally can be beneficial to your health. Foods like cake, pizza and beer, which are often loaded with gluten and should only be consumed occasionally, are eliminated on a gluten free diet. As well, when you are not consuming those types of foods, you are also reducing your intake of refined sugars, carbohydrates and unhealthy fats.
On the other hand, eliminating gluten entirely means you also say no to many common and nutritious foods such as barley, rye and wheat which are fantastic sources of plant based proteins, vitamins and minerals. Avoiding these whole grain foods entirely can also reduce the amount of beneficial fibre in your diet which is needed to maintain a healthy digestive system.
If you have a vegetarian or vegan diet, a lot of emphasis is often placed on foods that you can’t eat. The same applies for gluten. However, how about turning that around and focusing on all the amazing foods you CAN eat if you have a gluten intolerance. So much of the food we eat (or should be eating) on a daily basis is naturally gluten free and the options available for those wanting to consume less products with gluten are endless.
So, should you be eating gluten free if you don’t have coeliac disease or a gluten intolerance? That choice is up to you. I personally like to skip the gluten occasionally by including nutritious products like the Vegie Delights Gluten Free Lentil Patties in my diet. With this in mind, a well-balanced approach to eating with small amounts of gluten every so often is a great way to eliminate certain foods but if you choose to avoid gluten by choice, make sure you’re still including plenty of whole grains in your diet.