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January 01, 2018 06:09 PM

Gluten Free: Should You Do It?

Over the last couple of years one diet growing in popularity is going gluten-free.

While for many this may seem like any other diet, with food restrictions, others follow this diet for health reasons.

Megan Ekeren says she's aware of the gluten free diet, but doesn't follow the guidelines because it's not a part of her dietary needs. 

"Having a gluten free diet is for people who have celiac disease, who's stomachs can't handle rye, barley, wheat, things like that. But before you do it I would look at considering other options and talking to a dietitian," Ekeren said. 

While dietitians say they have a lot of clients asking about a gluten free diet, checking with your doctor should always be your first step.

"We want to rule out to see if it's a true celiac disease, which is actually an autoimmune disease, it's a very serious disease. The only way you can combat that is with an actual gluten free diet," Registered Dietitian Kristin Sousek said..

As for weight loss with a gluten free diet, Sousek says it will be minimal.

"You're decreasing your carbs, so it may give you some weight loss," Sousek said.

If you're not careful, it can also lead to health problems. 

"If you just alleviate gluten from your diet you run into possibilities of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, some iron deficiency, you can get problems with nutrient absorption," Sousek said

As for Ekeren and her family -- they'll continue eating carbs as long as they're the good ones. 

"I think gluten free is a little bland. My family and I do, I guess more of a paleo diet so it's just meat and vegetables and good carbs," Megan Ekeren said. 

But for some families that isn't an option.  

Sousek says after you speak with a doctor to find out the underlying problems, dietitians are more than happy to help you restock your cupboards with food you're capable of eating. 

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