A new way to healthy living and diet seems to be sweeping all of America nowadays. Grocery stores, supermarkets and restaurants are either piling up stocks or changing their courses to foods that bear the label, “Gluten-free.”

Gluten is the protein contained in rye, wheat and barley. Many of the foods we eat, such as cereals, pizza, bread, pasta, beer, and soy sauce contain gluten; even certain medicines, vitamins, mineral supplements, and toothpaste have it too.

For those suffering from gluten sensitive enteropathy (GSE), more commonly known as celiac disease, a gluten-free diet would be necessary since even a small amount of gluten in their food is enough to trigger intestinal trouble which can lead to infertility, osteoporosis, and nerve damage.

To healthy people, on the other hand, a gluten-free diet over the ordinary, daily diet may not really be commendable, especially for the pregnant or those intending to become pregnant. This is because eliminating gluten-enriched food from your diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies, as stated by Dr. Daniel A. Leffler, head of Celiac Center clinical research in Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Bread and cereals are the key sources of B vitamins; pregnant women specifically need folic acid or folate, also known as vitamin B9, to prevent birth defects. Switching to gluten-free food to treat autism, boost one’s energy, lose weight and feel healthier is not substantiated by Dr. Leffler and on this view, he is joined by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ spokeswoman Dee Sandquist, MS, RD.

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