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Should You Go Gluten-Free?

October 18, 2012, 6:13 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Should You Go Gluten-Free?

You've likely heard of a gluten-free diet, but many people don't know what that exactly means and who should be taking gluten off their plate.

According to the latest estimates, 80 percent of those going gluten-free aren't doing it for medical reasons. Some of them simply want to lose weight or improve their health.

Not only are more people eliminating gluten from their diets, but you're likely seeing it at the grocery store.

"Sometimes the gluten-free products are the ones they prefer because of the taste," Renee Duman said.

"Gluten-free is something we see in a lot of publications and it's become popular as an alternative diet," Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian Jennifer Colgan said.

But some people are eating gluten-free foods not because they have to, but because they want to. Either they think it will help them lose weight or improve their nutrition, but should you be doing that?

"For those who are doing it by choice, it's important to remember that gluten containing foods can provide us enriched nutrients like thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid and some gluten containing products are very high fiber as well," Colgan said.

Colgan also says it's never recommended to limit your dietary choices unless you have to.

"People who should be on a gluten-free diet or people who chose a gluten-free diet would be people who have diagnosed celiac disease or people who are gluten intolerant or even gluten sensitive," Colgan said.

Because Colgan says while going gluten-free is beneficial for some, it's not healthier for everyone.

"If we're taking out certain foods or entire food groups, we really want to consider how we're replacing those nutrients we might be missing out on," Colgan said.

Duman says she realizes that and while her family picks up products in the gluten-free section, they're not completely on a gluten-free diet.

"We don't have anyone in our family who requires gluten-free products, but we do tend to eat a natural diet, and my children have specific products that happen to be gluten-free that they prefer," Duman said.

If you are on a gluten-free diet, Hy-Vee is hosting demonstrations this month in recognition of Celiac Awareness Month. The next demonstration is Friday afternoon from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Louise Avenue store in Sioux Falls.

You can try this gluten-free marinade by following these directions:

All you need:

  • 1/2 cup gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1 quart pineapple juice
  • 1 tbsp. garlic
  • 1 tbsp. ginger

All you do:

  • Combine soy sauce, pineapple juice, garlic and ginger in bowl.
  • Use to marinade and discard any remaining.

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