Should I avoid gluten?
Choosing healthy food at the grocery store can be a tough task. We are constantly bombarded with nutritional allegations: “fat-free”, “no sodium”, “low in cholesterol”, “sugar free”, etc. Trying to keep track of everything we have to avoid in food can be difficult. The latest trend that can be observed in stores is the “gluten-free” label on foods. Does this mean we need to avoid gluten now as well? Not exactly. This phrase can be interpreted in the same way you might interpret “peanut-free”. If you don’t have a peanut allergy, you can still eat these foods, and likewise you don’t have to avoid gluten if you are not intolerant to gluten.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a mixture of protein found in some grains that is responsible for the elastic texture in dough. It can be found in wheat, rye, barley, and some oats.
How do I know if I’m gluten intolerant?
Celiac disease is the name of a medical condition in which the small intestine is hypersensitive to gluten. In Canada, it affects 1 in 133 people. Some of the symptoms of this disease include chronic diarrhea, bloating, cramps, fatigue, weight loss, and anemia. If you feel any of these symptoms on a regular basis, the best thing to do is visit your doctor. A small biopsy is the only way to diagnose it.
If you are gluten intolerant, it is then primordial that you follow a gluten-free diet to ensure good health.
Remember, if you do not suffer from celiac disease there is no reason to avoid foods that contain gluten. It will not make you healthier nor help you lose weight. It should simply be compared to an allergy. It is hard to completely eliminate gluten from your diet because there are many derivatives found in unsuspected food. If you are gluten intolerant, we strongly recommend you consult a nutritionist.
For more info, visit www.celiac.ca
Stefanie Rosser, P.Dt., nutritionist for Zero Diet
The Zero Diet brand is first and foremost the conviction that healthy eating is a primary factor to attaining a healthy weight and a balanced lifestyle. Thus, we offer nutrition counselling with nutritionists who are members of the OPDQ with our Zero Diet nutrition program in our centers and in companies. We have also developed a healthy frozen food product line that fulfills rigorous nutritional criteria as well as two healthy Zero Diet cookbooks.