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Should I Go on a Gluten-Free Diet?

Why Are Gluten-Free Diets So Popular?

Since I've resolved to eat more conscientiously and healthy, I decided to take this week to try an elimination diet, meaning going caffeine-, dairy-, alcohol-, and gluten-free, among other restrictions. So far my biggest struggles have been not having that much-needed cup of coffee in the morning and having much more limited lunch and dinner options, even at the salad bar. But I am also finding that while it's hard to go gluten-free, cravings-wise, the gluten-free diet's popularity means that it's not so tough finding acceptable food options at the grocery store or at restaurants.

Some people need to remove gluten from their diets because of gluten allergies or celiac disease, but it seems like this diet trend is growing more than the population of those with gluten sensitivities. More and more gluten-free products are lining the aisles at the supermarket, celebrities are swearing by the effects of going gluten-free, and even fast food has gotten in on the game.

Read on to find out why this diet is so popular.

Experts say that all the hype about gluten-free foods can be attributed to the belief that eliminating gluten from your diet will aid in weight loss. But the truth is while a gluten-free diet can help those with sensitivities from feeling bloated — as well as help you be more aware of your diet, meaning ingesting fewer calories — it is not the key to losing weight. In fact, some gluten-free products actually have more fat and sugar than their glutenous counterparts, and not only that, many products like gluten-free pastas may contain more carbs as well.

Elimination diets aim to help you figure out if you do, in fact, have sensitivities to certain foods, so I'm going to stick with my meal plan for the rest of the week to see how I feel. If you are also going gluten-free, there are many foods you can choose from. Try naturally gluten-free flours made from grains like buckwheat or rice, or sample some gluten-free versions of your favorite bready foods and snacks.

If you have gone gluten-free, what are your reasons for doing so?

Source: Flickr User sanbeiji

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