Many people go gluten free because they believe they’ll lose weight, but this isn’t always the case. It is true that gluten is found in a lot of unhealthy foods (such as cakes and biscuits), and if you’re replacing these with non-processed foods such as fruit and veg, then you will feel lighter and brighter. However, if you’re simply swapping your usual naughty snack for a gluten-free equivalent, you won’t see the difference on your waist-line. “Many foods labelled ‘gluten-free’ can be unhealthy and are loaded with sugar and fat and are low in fibre, vitamins and minerals,” Carly says.
Although you shouldn’t cut gluten from your diet unless you have to, you should try to make wise choices in your gluten-containing food options. “If you have no reason to avoid gluten, opt for wholegrain carb choices over refined versions as often as you can,” says Emma.
As our experts have advised, unless you have coeliac disease or an intolerance to gluten, it’s best not to cut out gluten from you diet. But what if you think you may have a problem with the protein?
Common symptoms of coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity include upset bowels (bloating, gas, diarrhoea, stomach pain etc) and also other issues such as fatigue and headaches.
If these issues sound familiar, call your doctor and discuss how you are feeling. If they believe you may have coeliac disease, they can perform a blood test to check for the antibodies that are usually present in the bloodstream of people who suffer from this.
In order to find out if you have a non-coeliac sensitivity, one thing a doctor or nutritionist may recommend is creating a food diary. This involves jotting down what you eat each day and writing down how you feel afterwards and allows you to build a picture of what specific foods may be impacting your health.