[caption id="attachment_13475" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The Pros and Cons of Going Wheat-Free"]
It seems like every restaurant, grocery store, and market has more and more gluten-free products. However, not everyone realizes the true nature of gluten intolerance, or what a gluten-free diet really entails. If you’re a noob to this info, read on! I’ve got the inside scoop.
The first thing everyone should know is that gluten intolerance is not a black and white thing. It’s very much a spectrum. Only 1 percent of the American population likely has a total intolerance, but health experts believe that 1 in 10 suffer from some kind of aversion to gluten. This may mean you have to go entirely wheat free, but it could also mean that you can handle wheat, but are unknowingly suffering from seemingly unrelated consequences (or you only get sick once a year, because a certain meal happens to bring you down). For instance, people with gluten aversions can develop fatigue, rashes, joint pain, or muscle pain just as equally as they may develop a stomachache.
Furthermore, many people who don’t actually have an aversion to gluten have found benefits from a wheat-free diet. People say that they have more energy and stamina after adopting a regimen free of wheat. However, there’s nothing inherently healthy about this lifestyle choice. Like being a vegetarian or lactose intolerant, you can choose to substitute these products with healthy options or junk food. It’s likely that if you focus on eating healthy options, regardless of any other kind of diet, you’re likely to feel and look a lot better.
That said, you could very well suffer from gluten intolerance. If you suspect you do, try going without wheat for a week and see how you feel, or go to a doctor and have them test you. The same can be said for your child, and a doctor is especially important here. Never, ever make a decision like this for your child without the consultation and advice of a health professional. Remember why you start a new regimen in the first place: to be as healthy as you can and live a better life. Gluten-free, vegan, or any other diets can be beneficial for people of all ages, but unless you have a degree in nutrition, you should ALWAYS consult a doctor before implementing one!
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