Risks of a Gluten Free Diet

There are risks involved with following a gluten-free diet; therefore it is not recommended for everyone. Avoiding grains on the gluten-free diet means that you are eating fewer products enriched with nutrients, which may lead to deficiencies in iron, calcium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate. Along with fruits and vegetables, the most common sources of dietary fiber are whole-grain breads and cereals, which contain gluten. Many people on gluten-free diets tend to eat inadequate amounts of fiber, which may lead to constipation. Following a gluten-free diet may potentially cause a decrease in the amount of beneficial bacteria in the gut (Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus), which can negatively impact the immune system.

Another negative aspect regarding the gluten-free diet is cost. Gluten-free products tend to be more expensive than gluten-containing products. Gluten-free products may be lacking in variety or may not be as accessible as gluten-containing products in some grocery stores. Gluten may also be found in cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, and medications. Adopting the gluten-free diet is not an easy change. It takes time and dedication. You must pay close attention to food labels. If products state that they are “gluten-free”, it means that the manufacturer guarantees that there is no gluten in that food item. If a product does not have a “gluten-free” claim then you must contact the manufacturer directly.

If you have not been diagnosed with celiac disease, it is not recommended that you follow a gluten-free diet. Contact your physician and meet with a Registered Dietitian if you are seeking a healthy and effective weight loss plan. If you suspect that you may have intolerance to gluten or have been diagnosed with celiac disease, contact your physician and meet with a Registered Dietitian to ensure that you are meeting all of your nutrition needs.