While there is a lot of talk about the ‘universal health benefits’ of going gluten-free, there are many aspects of the lifestyle that most people are still unsure or unaware about. We believe that there is some truth out there, but that it is also important to clear the air on some of the bigger gluten and gluten-free myths
Myth #1: Everyone should try going Gluten-free! Unless you have been medically diagnosed with celiac disease, avoiding gluten may not have any beneficial effect and may actually lead to some deficiencies. Eliminating gluten from your diet unnecessarily can shock your system as well as your wallet, as most gluten-free foods tend to be more expensive due to the extra step to remove the gluten.
Myth #2: Gluten can be absorbed through the skin from cosmetics or sunscreen. Generally, cosmetics and sunscreen that contain gluten will have no effect on people with sensitivities and allergies. While the gluten cannot be absorbed through the skin, The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research warns that you should still be weary of accidental consumption of lipsticks or any product that might be placed in or around the month.
Myth #3: Gluten-free foods are healthier automatically. When people go gluten-free, most feel like they are cutting out ‘junk food’ and ‘excess carbs’. However, the thing about gluten-substitutes is that they are often filled with more sugar, fat and salt in order to replicate normal bread, while leaving out important nutrients like folic acid and iron.
Myth #4: Going Gluten-free will ALWAYS lead to weight-loss. While those celiac friendly crackers may be gluten-free, they still contain all the other salty ingredients of a regular cracker. Going gluten-free may translate to consuming less carbs, but it does not give the same results as eating healthy and regular exercise.
Myth #5: You can tell if you have Celiac Disease by comparing your symptoms and through self-monitoring. While your symptoms may be strikingly similar or vastly different from others around you with the disease, that does not completely argue for or against a gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease varies from person to person, as well as the level of gluten sensitivity, and both should be determined by professional medical physicians.
With so much information on gluten out there, it’s easy to get confused about what’s true and what’s opinion. If you find yourself with a question about gluten or any other food sensitivities or allergies out there, be sure to check with a medical professional to get an answer that doesn’t compromise your health.
AFC/Doctors Express Urgent Care in South Plainfield is a state-of-the-art urgent care center open extended hours seven days a week. Walk-ins are welcome, most insurance plans are accepted, and we offer a comprehensive suite of in-house services that include digital x-rays and on-site lab testing. All patients are treated by board-certified physicians and our wait times are comparatively short. Visit us at 907 Oak Tree Avenue, Oak Park Commons (near the Super A&P) in South Plainfield or call us at 908-222-3500. We’re open weekdays from 8am-8pm and weekends from 8am-5pm.