Gluten-Free Diet Not Recommended For Kids Without Celiac Disease

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Even though it might be trendy to follow a gluten-free diet, some people who suffer from celiac disease could get into very much trouble if they ingest gluten. Their hypersensitivity to this group of proteins can cause them significant difficulty in digesting food.

When children are diagnosed with celiac disease, they need to adopt a diet that doesn’t include any bit of the gut-damaging gluten. But unfortunately, more parents have decided to eliminate these proteins from their kids’ diets, even though they do not have medical reasons for it.

These parents are actively trying to get rid of gluten – commonly found in wheat and other grains – believing they are giving their kids a healthier alternative.

“Out of concern for their children’s health, parents sometimes place their children on a gluten-free diet in the belief that it relieves symptoms, can prevent CD, or is a healthy alternative without prior testing for CD or consultation with a dietitian,” explained Norelle Reilly, from New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.

Even though parents of children with celiac disease are strongly advised to closely supervise the eating habits of their offspring, this type of diet has not proved to be healthier for children who do not have the condition.

In most cases, gluten-free food tends to be richer in sugar, fat, or sodium, any of which can become a factor in gaining unwanted weight. When gluten is eliminated from food, a lot of the texture and flavor is also gone, which is why these products compensate by having a higher amount of fattening ingredients.

At the same time, Reilly observed that gluten-free food products also contain fewer minerals and vitamins; therefore, children put on a gluten-free diet are prone to be missing out on useful iron, fiber, and B vitamins.

“Gluten-free packaged foods frequently contain a greater density of fat and sugar than their gluten-containing counterparts,” Reilly wrote in a commentary that accompanied the study featured in the Journal of Pediatrics.

When the calorie and fat intake is increased because of a gluten-free diet, researchers have noted that the risk of obesity, overweight, and metabolic syndrome is also increased.

In 2014, Consumer Reports revealed in an analysis that many gluten-free foods contain rice-based ingredients, which, in turn, contains “higher levels of inorganic arsenic.”
Image Source: Gluten Free Living

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