3 risks and dangers of gluten-free food that all GF diet followers must know
The gluten-free diet is required for celiac disease and gluten intolerance, but there are risks and dangers. Recent research reveals several issues you need to know about the diet.
The gluten-free diet is the recommended treatment for celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Although the diet is not always easy to follow, it is a requirement for healing the body. However, new research has raised concerns about common gluten-free foods, and you need to be aware of the studies.
Top risks and dangers of gluten-free food
You already know that you have to eliminate gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, from your diet if you have celiac disease and gluten intolerance. You may also be aware of the benefits of focusing on naturally gluten-free foods such as meat, dairy, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Processed gluten-free foods can be high in sugar, fat, salt and other unhealthy ingredients. Now, research has found other concerns about the GF (gluten-free) diet.
1. Toxic metals found in gluten-free food
A new study published in the journal Epidemiology reveals that gluten-free food can be high in toxic metals such as arsenic and mercury. In many cases, gluten-free products rely on rice because it is safe for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Unfortunately, rice can accumulate toxins easily, and arsenic is one of the common dangers.
Researchers suggest that brands may need stronger regulations on the levels of toxins in rice. This is not the first time that concerns about arsenic in gluten-free rice products have appeared. If you are on a gluten-free diet, there is a strong chance you are eating more rice and rice-containing products than the average person.
2. Lack of fiber in gluten-free processed foods
Another common risk and danger of gluten-free food is the lack of fiber in many processed items. According to the Harvard Medical School, most people do not get enough fiber in their diets. Wheat is one of the few sources that the average person consumes regularly, so it provides some fiber. However, the gluten-free diet eliminates wheat, and some gluten-free bread does not provide enough fiber.
This is why it is crucial to focus on a healthy meal plan with vegetables and fruits on the GF diet. Brown rice, quinoa and other gluten-free grains can also provide fiber. Adults need an estimated 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day.
3. Lack of B vitamins in gluten-free processed foods
One of the risks and dangers of the gluten-free diet is vitamin deficiencies because many GF processed foods are not fortified. On the other hand, cereals and bread made with wheat, barley and rye are usually fortified and have higher levels of B vitamins.
It is important to evaluate all of the products you eat on a daily basis and make sure they are providing enough B vitamins. You can find these vitamins in meat, dairy, eggs, poultry, fish, soybeans and dark leafy vegetables. You also want to look for enriched gluten-free products that have added vitamins on the GF diet.