Should You Go Gluten-Free?

on October 11, 2010

Q: Is there a benefit to eating a gluten-free diet if I don’t have celiac disease?

A: At first glance, following a gluten-free diet—recommended for people with sensitivities to gluten, a type of protein found in grains—may seem like a good idea even if you don’t have celiac disease. After all, some of the foods on the no-eat list such as cakes and cookies, beer and processed meats shouldn’t be a big part of a healthy diet anyway. But while eating the occasional gluten-free product won’t hurt you, swearing off all gluten if you don’t have celiac disease can deprive you of fiber and nutrients such as folic acid and iron, says Megan Moore, a registered dietitian at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano. “There’s no innate benefit to avoiding gluten if you are not intolerant,” she says. “If you choose to go gluten-free, you’ll need to take a good multivitamin to ensure you get all your nutrients.”

Found in: Nutrition