This month celebrates National Celiac Awareness Month; a condition that due to the reaction of eating gluten damages the lining of the small intestine, preventing it from absorbing certain parts of foods the body needs to stay healthy. As the disease is more and more talked about more and more people are wondering if gluten-free eating is a healthier option for everyone. To help debunk some common myths, we asked Tricia Thompson, MS, RD on behalf of Kellogg’s to give us the scoop on gluten-free diets and how to manage your meals if you can eat gluten, but your kids can’t.
Myths of a gluten-free diet:
- The gluten-free diet is a low carbohydrate diet. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending upon how you look at it), there is a gluten-free version of practically every wheat-based carbohydrate-rich food. Examples include cookies, cakes, donuts, pizza, pasta, muffins, rolls, etc. The list literally goes on and on.
- All gluten-free food is healthy. Just because a food label says “gluten-free” does not mean it is healthy. Many gluten-free foods are made using white rice, milled corn and various starches. These refined grains are not very nutritious. You want to look for gluten-free cereals, breads, and pastas that are made with gluten-free whole grains or have been fortified or enriched—meaning vitamins and minerals have been added to the food.
- The gluten-free diet is a weight-loss plan. The gluten-free diet is a medically prescribed diet for people who have celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and dermatitis herpetiformis (the skin form of celiac disease). Anyone can lose weight by eating fewer calories than their body needs but you do not need to follow a gluten-free diet to do this.