Healthy diet is now considered a trendy health trend, including wheat free or gluten free diet. This diet limits you from eating wheat-based foods, since gluten is a natural protein found in various wheat products. However, unless you have a condition called Celiac disease, doing gluten free or wheat free diet is useless, and even harmful for your health. This can lead to various health conditions caused by wheat deficit.
Signs of Wheat Deficit in Gluten Free Diet
There are many bad factors of restricting wheat-based foods consumption and switching to gluten free alternatives, especially if you have no reason to do it. Basically, gluten free foods have lower vitamin B content than regular wheat-based products. While cutting off refined flour may be great for your health, there are other factors that can influence your health.
Here are some health problems that can happen when you switch to extreme gluten free diet, especially if you do not have Celiac disease:
- Deficit of important nutrition. Besides vitamin B, wheat-based products contain nutrition such as calcium, mineral, zinc, magnesium and iron. Many gluten free, wheat-based products have lower amount of these nutrition groups, making them less nutritious than the regular counterparts.
- Losing much carbohydrate as energy source. One of the most obvious signs of wheat deficit in gluten free diet is losing much energy source because of restricted carbohydrate intake. An adult regularly needs about 130 grams of carbohydrate every day to get the much needed energy to do activities.
- Consuming more fat and calories. Many gluten free products in the market have bland taste, or at least taste like they are “health foods,” not regular foods you probably enjoy frequently. To make up with the bland taste, manufacturers often add elements such as sugar and fat, so the products taste better. They will contribute to your health and weight.
People with actual Celiac disease must get their carbohydrate and vitamin Bs from other sources beside wheat products. Therefore, people who do not have Celiac disease should not follow the same diet just because of the health hype.
Tips to Avoid Wheat Deficit in Gluten Free Diet
If, for some reasons, you need to do gluten free diet, there are ways to avoid health problems because of wheat deficit. Choosing fortified products is an easy way to get your vitamin Bs, fibers, and minerals. Also, you must make sure to eat more varied healthy foods to get other nutrients, such as minerals, vitamins, and fibers. You can list what nutrients you need to eat more and add some supplements into your daily diet. However, make sure to discuss with your doctor first about possible side effects of these supplements.
You can also turn to some wheat alternatives to get the same nutrients, but without experiencing the symptoms of Celiac disease. Wild rice, quinoa, cornmeal, steel-cut oats and millet are some of the best and most nutritious wheat alternatives for anyone with Celiac disease. In the end, gluten free diet is definitely not for everyone, but those with actual Celiac disease must know what to eat and how to avoid nutritional deficiency by picking the right foods.