Can A Gluten Free Diet Harm Healthy Kids? Find out!
You must have heard a lot about ‘gluten’, ‘gluten-free diet’, ‘celiac disease’, ‘gluten intolerance’, ‘gluten sensitivity’ and ‘gluten free food’. There are a lot of people who are jumping onto the gluten-free bandwagon these days in spite of having no signs of celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. However, what is disturbing is that some people are placing healthy kids on a gluten free diet too. Can A Gluten Free Diet Harm Healthy Kids? Read on to find out!
A gluten free-diet is essential for people those who suffer from celiac disease. It is a condition in which consuming gluten (a protein present in wheat, rye, barley) damages the small intestine. Till date there is no treatment for the disease and only way out is to stick to a gluten-free diet.
1% of Americans have celiac disease but there are millions of people who are shunning gluten for no reason. They simply believe that it is a healthier option. Now there is growing trend of parents placing their kids on a gluten-free diet without consulting the doctor. Experts say that this could do more harm than good!
Now due to all the hype, gluten is looked upon as a dangerous and rather toxic food component. There are many misconceptions and myths connected to gluten and going on a gluten-free diet. For instance, people think that a gluten-free diet is healthy and has no disadvantages. However, the truth is that for those who don’t have celiac disease, gluten-sensitivity or wheat allergy, there are no health benefits.
Cutting out on foods containing gluten can lead to nutritional deficiencies. In young kids, when the whole food group is removed and there are no proper substitutions, the chances of malnutrition, poor growth are high. This is chiefly because the replacement foods are not nutritious enough. Gluten-free food is said to be highly processed with lots of fat and sugar in them. Some people even tend to pile on kilos after going gluten-free due to this reason. Is it a good idea to feed your kids with all the processed gluten-free stuff when they don’t have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity? Parents feel that placing their kids on a gluten-free diet prevents celiac disease. But as already mentioned above, gluten-free packaged food has lot more fat and sugar when compared to foods that contain gluten.
A food being gluten-free does not simply mean that it is healthier than its counterpart containing gluten. The supermarket aisles these days are jam packed with gluten free cookies, breads and whole lot of other goodies. The gluten-free food industry is making millions just because some people feel that going gluten-free and placing their kids on a similar diet is goof for their health.
It is time that parents are educated on the nutritional, financial and social consequences of going on a gluten free diet without any reason. This gluten-free diet fad cannot be brought to an end so fast but it is possible to make parents aware of the outcome of what they are doing. This way kids won’t be nutritionally deficient.
What do you feel? Can A Gluten Free Diet Harm Healthy Kids?
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