Gluten Free? Why?
Let me preface this article by saying I AM NOT A DOCTOR. While I am a certified personal trainer with over a decade of experience and studying to be a certified sports nutritionist, my professional opinion should not take the place of a medical professional. Serious questions about your health and diet should be directed to your doctor. That being said: I know the craze of the day in the past few years has been "going gluten free". While I myself am (mostly) gluten free due to a medical condition, that doesn't mean I suggest it to my personal training clients. Before I explain why let's cover quickly what gluten is.
What is gluten?
gluten Is a mixture of proteins found in wheat and related grains such as barley. They create a strong bond, which gives bread it's elasticity to create doughy-ness and help it rise. Gluten has some protein but a low biological and nutritional value. Meaning it is not packed full of vitamins and minerals and mostly just makes you feel full before quickly being burned as energy by your body. This is good in high amounts for endurance athletes but the average person doesn't need to be eating as much as they probably are. This doesn't mean it is bad for you. Just like anything else in our diets it should be eaten in moderation.
Who actually needs to avoid it?
Celiac disease, autoimmune/auto inflammatory disease, digestive disease: Unless you have one of these then going gluten free won't give you any real medical benefits. Yes you will see some weight loss but that's because you're dropping your carb intake and therefore are probably only losing water weight. Carbs are quick energy for your body and unless you've noticed a marked improvement in your pain levels, inflammation, or bathroom habits after 30 days of gluten free you are probably fine to go back to the bread.
In Conclusion, unless your doctor has told you that you need to be on a gluten free diet, you are just buying into diet trends like the "fat free" buzz of the 80s, the Atkins diet of the 90s or the raw food craze of the early 2000s. Simply put, eat clean, balanced, nutrient dense foods with as few chemicals as possible and you are doing better than most.
AAAI Certified Personal trainer, Semi-pro Athlete, Fitness model.
Athlete Liaison and OCR Branch Manager for CustomBuilt PFN
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