You've probably heard about changing to a gluten-free or wheat free diet plan. But if you don't suffer from a wheat allergy or from Celiac disease, you may wonder if there's really any benefit to going wheat-free. After all, wheat and wheat-based products are so ingrained (pun intended) in the American diet that we often wonder if we really can give it up altogether.
Going wheat-free requires some work on your part—but that's a good thing. If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you know that becoming educated about the food you eat is something I am passionate about. So if going wheat-free makes you stop and read your food labels, then you know I am all for it. But there are other, more tangible benefits to following awheat-free diet plan. I'm going to list the top 5 reasons you should switch to a wheat-free diet below.
1. You may have wheat intolerance—but you don't know it.
Studies show that Celiac disease is actually underdiagnosed in the United States. Some estimate that only 1 in 3000 people are diagnosed, when in reality, 1 in 250 suffer from the disease. So it may be worth your while to go off wheat for a period of time and see how you feel.
Does your digestion improve? Do you have more energy? If so, you may have wheat intolerance. A simple blood test can show the presence of antibodies in your bloodstream, and an intestinal biopsy can confirm Celiac disease. But simply eliminating wheat from your diet, and then seeing how you feel, is an easy self-test you can try on your own.
2. You may feel allergy relief.
If you suffer from many allergies, eliminating wheat from your diet can help ease your symptoms. If you have dry, itchy skin, or suffer from hives, then eliminating wheat can have a profoundly positive effect on how you feel.
3. You may experience digestive relief.
If you experience gas, bloating, and water retention, eliminating wheat from your eating plan can really help improve your digestion. Although we think that wheat is easy to digest, it's actually quite hard on your intestines, and can cause sluggish digestion and even blockages. A wheat-free diet is much easier on your intestines than a diet that relies on wheat products.
4. A wheat-free diet can help keep weight gain at bay.
If you want to really jump start your weight loss, try keeping wheat out of your eating plan for a couple of weeks. You may be surprised at the result. Many of the refined carbs we eat without thinking (cookies, crackers, breads, pastas, and the like) are made with wheat. By eliminating wheat from your diet, you eliminate these products by default from your eating program, which can help you achieve your weight loss goals.
5. Your joints will thank you.
Studies show that gluten is often an instigator for joint pain in the body, as it weakens our bodies' natural defenses. If you suffer from joint pain or have a family history of arthritis, you can keep your joints feeling better—and thus stay more active—by eliminating gluten products from your eating program.
When eliminating wheat from your diet, be sure to read the labels of every food product you eat. Even seemingly innocent foods, like soy sauce, contain wheat. So if you are truly going gluten-free, you will need to make sure you read about everything you eat, before you consume it.
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