We are doing a project on hypothetically creating a gluten-free restaurant. I was wondering if living a gluten-free lifestyle is good for people who do not suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity?
Hi Alexandra. A gluten-free diet can be quite healthful if choosing a variety of fresh, wholesome foods from all of the food groups, including gluten-free whole grains. However, a diet that relies mostly on highly processed gluten-free foods can be lacking in nutrients, particularly fiber, iron and B vitamins.
Not only are highly processed gluten-free foods devoid of these nutrients, but they also are not required to be fortified with them. When choosing processed gluten-free foods, choose brands that are fortified.
There is no evidence showing that a gluten-free diet leads to weight loss. If highly processed gluten-containing foods are taken out of the diet, and more fresh foods are consumed, this is more likely the reason for experiencing weight loss. Most health professionals recommend a gluten-free diet only for those who have adverse health effects when consuming gluten.
Rachel Begun, MS, RD
Source: Webinar Q&As under Food as Medicine for Celiac Disease: Nutrition Beyond the Gluten-Free Diet archives