Health Beat

Health Beat: Gluten-free isn't always good

BOSTON - Gluten-free foods are selling like hot cakes, especially for those looking to drop a few pounds, but certified holistic health coach Mary McAlary said gluten-free dieting isn't smart for everyone.

"I think that if you do not have celiac and you do not have a gluten sensitivity, I mean, why go gluten-free?" said McAlary, the author of New Day One Life Nutrition.

Geng Zong, a Harvard University researcher, agrees and also points out gluten-free foods' high prices don't necessarily mean they are more nutritious.

"People want to buy... spend more money on healthy food. That's one reason. Second is there is more processing procedure behind the production of gluten-free food," Zong said.


And Zong said when gluten is cut out completely, your risk of chronic disease rises.

"So, if you avoid gluten, you may lose part of the nutrients from whole grains, and whole grains have shown to be very beneficial for your health in fighting type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease and cancer," Zong cautioned.

The bottom line is...

"If you don't have a medical reason to avoid gluten, we don't think you should," Zong said.

So listen to the experts. Be smart, not trendy.

Cutting out junk food and processed food is always smart, and eat more whole grains. The whole grains, specifically, are the most beneficial, and consuming three servings a day is ideal.

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