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Do I need to be gluten free?

I was asked that a week or so ago. There are nutritionists and doctors on both sides of the fence. Here’s my opinion:

In short, not necessarily.

Gluten-free has gotten so popular in the last few years, but not all of us necessarily need to be gluten-free to be healthy. Very, very few people have celiac disease and absolutely need to be gluten-free. Your doctor can tell you more about celiac.

There are a lot of us, however, that seem to be intolerant to wheat and other glutinous grains. Me included.

I recommend you join my seasonal cleanse (the Spring Cleanse is coming in April!) to see if you feel better without gluten. How will the cleanse help you? The cleanse is an elimination diet. When you remove gluten and other top allergens from your system, you get rid of all those pesky symptoms that are common for you. You start feeling great! (Hint, common does not mean normal!) Then, when you add those potentially-allergenic foods back in, you notice which ones upset you.

For me, eating gluten gives me digestive issues, makes me tired, and sends my sugar cravings through the roof.

Will that be your experience?

Not necessarily!

I give my kids 100% whole wheat bread because I haven’t noticed a need to cut gluten out of their diets. Other moms have seen dramatic behavior change and other great results when they removed gluten from their kids’ diets.

You really have to try it out to know for sure. I don’t believe gluten is the source of all things bad for all of us, and going gluten-free may not solve your health issue.

If you want to go gluten-free, here’s a word of warning: Don’t simply switch to gluten-free breads, cookies, crackers, etc. I compare it to the fat-free craze of the 90’s. When manufacturers remove gluten (just like when they removed fat), they often add more sugar and other additives to make the product still taste good and have the right texture.  Adding more sugar to your diet is not the direction to go! Instead, go gluten-free by sticking with fruits, vegetables, proteins, healthy fats and gluten-free grains like quinoa, rice, amaranth, gluten-free oats, etc.

Are you a gluten-free eater?