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Posted on 01/16/2017 in Category 1

How to Determine If a Gluten-Free Diet Is Right For You

How to Determine If a Gluten-Free Diet Is Right For You

How to Determine If a Gluten-Free Diet Is Right For You

The number of people adopting gluten-free diets in Ireland is rapidly on the rise. So much so that gluten-free foods are no longer confined to the shelves of health stores, they are now widely available in mainstream supermarkets. Gluten-free dishes have also become widespread in restaurants and cafes across the country. Perhaps what is most intriguing is that a significant portion of those actively excluding gluten from their diets are not doing so on account of a gluten intolerance or allergy, but as a personal lifestyle choice.

Are you considering adopting a gluten free diet? Ask yourself the following 3 questions to determine if eliminating gluten really is a necessity for you or whether you simply need to switch to healthier gluten-containing carbs:

1. Do you typically choose white flours over wholegrains?

Over consumption of food products containing/made from white flours can leave you feeling sluggish and unwell as they can clog the gastrointestinal system. This doesn’t automatically mean that you have to go gluten-free. A simple switch to eating wholegrains over white flours is usually enough to reduce inflammation of the intestines, reduce bloating and help you to feel more energised.

If however, you usually eat wholegrain gluten-containing carbs and experience bloating/gastro-intestinal issues, it may be beneficial to go gluten-free for a while.

2. Do you usually eat a balanced diet?

If your diet is particularly rich in carbohydrate based foods, it might be advisable to cut back on carbs before deciding to go gluten free. You may likely find that cutting back on your carb intake and eating a more optimally balanced diet of carbs, fats and proteins is enough to regulate your digestive system and that you do not need to go gluten-free.

3. Do you regularly drink alcohol?

Regular consumption of alcohol may be the root cause of any intestinal or digestive symptoms you are experiencing. Alcohol can slow down the absorption of nutrients in your body meaning your body is getting less nutritional support and more susceptible to illness. It can also significantly inflame the digestive tract. If you experience such issues, try cutting back on your consumption of alcohol and monitoring the subsequent impact on your digestive health. If symptoms persist, perhaps there may be a case for adopting a diet of gluten-free foods and drinks.

It’s important to consider the 3 aforementioned questions before you embark on a gluten-free diet. Such a diet may not produce the results you desire if gluten is not the sole or triggering issue. Going gluten-free is a significant commitment so you need to be sure that you do your research and conduct some self-tests in advance. Remember - a gluten-free diet isn’t a weight loss diet, it’s a lifestyle change intended to improve digestive health issues.

Pls note - This blog is not a diagnostic tool and it is essential to speak with your GP before embarking on any new eating regimes.

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