Don't go gluten-free if you don't have to.

Diet & Nutrition

Gluten-free foods are all the rage now. For people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, a gluten-free diet is a way of life and all the new options are great. But some people are treating gluten-free as the latest diet trend and labeling it healthy.

Gluten is a protein in many grains (wheat especially) and it may be used as a thickening agent or ‘glue’ for foods. If you take that gluten out, you need to provide a similar consistency with other ingredients (often fats or sugars). Whole grain products that have glutens are great for your cholesterol levels. But when you try to produce gluten-free or low-gluten breads, you lose the best qualities of the whole grains—high fiber and lots of B vitamins. Gluten-free products also lose the anti-oxidants you find in whole grains.

So unless you have been diagnosed with celiac disease or a wheat allergy, you should probably skip the gluten-free craze.

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