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Should I Go Gluten-Free?

Should I Go Gluten-Free?

The New Year brings an opportunity for change, and many individuals opt for a change in diet to live healthier and happier lives. In addition to adding more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your plate, you may be considering an even bigger diet change for 2023—going gluten-free.

Going gluten-free is associated with numerous health benefits and may significantly help those with gluten-sensitivity issues, wheat allergies or celiac disease. However, it is important to consider some cons of this dietary change before taking the plunge. If you're thinking about joining the 25 percent of Americans who follow a gluten-free diet, read on for more information.

What is Gluten?

The Celiac Disease Foundation describes gluten as a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. It gives dough its elasticity and helps bread rise. While it’s most commonly associated with bread and baked goods, gluten can also be found in many other processed foods, from soups to sauces.

Health Benefits of Going Gluten-Free

While it’s true that some people need to avoid gluten for medical reasons—such as those with celiac disease—others understand that a gluten-free diet can provide them with numerous health benefits.

Some of these potential benefits include:

  • Weight loss
  • Improved digestion
  • Clearer skin
  • Increased energy levels
  • Reduced inflammation

Misconceptions about Gluten-Free Diets

Many people consider a gluten-free diet to be a healthier lifestyle choice. With careful planning, this can be the case; however, it is easy to overlook the necessary nutrients in your new diet, and deficiencies may easily occur.

Often, this diet is lacking in vitamins B 1, 2, 3 and iron, meaning you will have to work harder to incorporate these nutrients into your meals. A gluten-free diet also may be an unhealthy choice should you replace those gluten-filled foods with fattier options.

Also, it should be noted that eating out may be more difficult as fewer gluten-free options are available. This could have an impact on your social life and routine.

Make an Informed Decision

If you decide that the gluten-free lifestyle is for you, make sure to do your research and find out what foods are safe to eat and which ones to avoid. Additionally, consult with a doctor or nutritionist if you have any questions or concerns about getting the proper nutrients and staying healthy throughout this lifestyle change.

Your team at Southwest General Medical Group, Inc. is here to help you make health-conscious decisions year-round! Visit to find a practitioner who is right for you!