Dietitian offers gluten-free diet advice for celiac disease

Lana Bandoim's picture

The popularity of the gluten-free diet among people who do not have celiac disease has led to it being labeled a fad by critics. Dietitian Christina Mariano tries to address some of the common concerns and questions about the diet while shedding light on its importance for people who have celiac disease. This is more than a popular diet trend that has been spreading around the country.

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Christina Mariano, who works for the Tripler Army Medical Center, reminds people that it is not necessary to be on a gluten-free diet unless they have celiac disease or are sensitive to the protein. Although many people have adopted the diet due to its popularity, she cautions against simply following the latest trends.

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Mariano warns against changing to the gluten-free diet without a proper medical diagnosis. She points out that some people begin to feel better on the diet, yet they have not found the true source of their problem and may actually have other medical conditions that they are ignoring. A proper diagnosis is essential before going on the gluten-free diet, but many people skip this step.

The dietitian also mentions that switching to gluten-free foods comes with its own set of risks and issues. Often, these products are lacking some essential vitamins and minerals while being high in fat and sugar. She warns that you may risk being low in B vitamins or iron by drastically changing your meals. In addition, gluten-free food costs more than regular items at the store, so people must budget correctly and shop smart. Christina Mariano prefers that people not follow a diet trend and instead focus on eating healthy. People with celiac disease do not have a choice, so they must follow the gluten-free diet, but the rest of the population does not have to deprive itself of eating a slice of whole wheat bread.

Read more about celiac disease:
Gluten-free gift ideas for celiac disease sufferers
Researchers work on new celiac disease medications

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