Is a Gluten Free Diet Healthier for Me?

This question depends on the reason for you gluten free diet. If you have a gluten allergy/intolerance or Celiac disease, then a gluten free diet is the only way to stay healthy.  Others may try the gluten free diet as a means to lose weight. Either way its important to understand that whether you are on a gluten free diet by choice or necessity it may lead to deficiencies such as low iron levels and a decline in amino acids and B vitamins. This is because gluten free processed foods are not fortified like their traditional counterparts. The key to a healthy gluten free diet is to make the right choices as to what you put into your body. Make sure your diet incorporates plenty of inherently gluten free goods like fruits, veggies, lean protein, legumes, and gluten-free whole grains and exercise moderation when it comes to consuming processed gluten free foods (cookies, bread, pasta, pizza).

Will a Gluten Free Diet Help Me Lose Weight?

Let’s get one thing straight, a gluten free diet is not inherently healthier than a diet containing gluten.
 Replacing glutenous carbs with gluten free carbs will not equate to a trimmer waistline. In fact, processed gluten free foods (i.e. cookies, crackers, bread, pasta) may contain more sugar and fat than their glutinous counterparts. No matter how you look at it, sugar is sugar and junk food is junk food.

For those with Celiac disease, a gluten free diet may actually cause you to gain weight.  This is because, on the gluten-free diet because your intestines will start to heal and you will begin absorbing nutrients again.

Should I use Gluten Free Beauty & Personal Care Products?

Choosing to use or avoid beauty and personal care products that contain gluten is a personal decision that depends on what is comfortable for you.  Gluten can’t be absorbed through the skin or scalp unless it is in close contact with an open cut or is ingested.  Products like shampoo and conditioner that contain gluten are not necessarily a threat to those with Celiac disease. You may however want to avoid personal care or beauty products that may contain gluten that can be easily ingested like lipstick, foundation or lotion. Personally, I prefer to use only gluten free beauty products if at all possible. However, I am equally concerned with limiting the amount of chemicals I am exposed to in my daily beauty regimen. If I can find a product that is sulfate free, paraben free, fragrance fee and gluten free then I consider it a win!

How Do I Know if a Packaged Food Product is Gluten Free?

The best way to be sure that a product is safe is to look for a certified gluten free label. There are several independent organizations that provide gluten free product labeling such as the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO) that is associated with the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (GIG).

If a product claims to be gluten-free on the package, then it is most likely safe. Some brands mark their goods as gluten free but do not seek independent certification. In this case, the gluten free labeled products still have to meet the gluten free labeling requirements of the FDA- the risk you run is that some companies meet these requirements better than others.

Are Oats & Oatmeal Gluten Free?

Yes and no. Inherently oats are gluten free, however, due to exposure to other gluten containing foods (wheat, rye and barley) at the growing, harvesting, milling and packaging stages there is the potential for cross-contamination. Fortunately uncontaminated oats – those that are grown on dedicated fields and then harvested, transported and processed at dedicated facilities- can be found at most local grocery stores.  All you need to do is look for the certified gluten free label. I recommend Bob’s Red Mill certified gluten free rolled oats which I use to make an amazing gfree roasted vanilla coconut almond granola.

Is Wine Gluten Free?

A common misconception for those embarking on a gluten free diet is the idea that wine may contain gluten… but don’t you worry your pretty little head! Red, white, or rosé, all wine is inherently gluten free.