Benefits of a Gluten-Free Diet, Delivered
Are you one of the 3 million Americans following a gluten-free diet? The gluten-free diet is the most popular diet in America today, with almost a quarter of the population following low-gluten or gluten-free dietary restrictions. Going gluten-free can provide many benefits, especially for individuals with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
However, in practice, this diet is usually more difficult than you might have anticipated. It’s important to be aware of the nutritional deficiencies that can result from eliminating gluten from the diet, and find other ways to get those vital nutrients.
Who Benefits from a Gluten-Free Diet?
Some individuals are committed to a lifelong gluten-free diet due to a diagnosis of celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder wherein gluten consumption can lead to permanent damage of the small intestine. In 2003 a landmark study found that as much as 1% of Americans have celiac disease. Additionally, as much as 17% of the population may experience non-celiac gluten sensitivity. In this, symptoms of intestinal distress after consuming wheat are very similar to celiac disease, although there is no permanent damage to the small intestine.
Others embark on a gluten-free diet to test for food sensitivities, or to limit their intake of unhealthy processed starches and sugars.
Nutritional Deficiencies of a Gluten-Free Diet
Although a gluten-free diet is the only treatment for celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, the truth is that there are also risks inherent in a gluten-free diet. In addition to gluten, wheat also contains essential nutrients like folate and fiber, which must be obtained elsewhere. A 2013 Australian study found that individuals adhering to a gluten-free diet were almost universally deficient in fiber. Additionally, according to the study, “more than one in 10 of both newly-diagnosed and experienced women had inadequate thiamin, folate, vitamin A, magnesium, calcium and iron intakes.” Here’s a closer look at each of those nutrients, and where you can find them (besides wheat).
- Thiamin (aka Vitamin B1): Rice, trout, black beans, acorn squash
- Folate (aka Folic acid): Beans, leafy greens, asparagus
- Vitamin A: Liver, salmon, cheese, sweet potato, winter squash
- Magnesium: Nuts, avocado, legumes
- Calcium: Milk, leafy greens, nuts
- Iron: Lentils, lean beef, turkey, kale
- Fiber: Tubers (like potatoes), leafy greens, fruits, legumes, nuts
Balanced, Purposeful Meal Plans Solve the Problem
Gluten-free diets can be complicated. It’s not just about eliminating pizza from your life. Gluten can be found in many different foods, and nutritional deficiencies caused by eliminating wheat must be compensated for with purposeful dietary planning. Many people who are diagnosed with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity find that they end up spending much more time and money than they’d like on meal preparation and special diet items.
We believe that gluten-free diet food delivery can be the answer for many overwhelmed individuals. Lean Lifestyle offers a gluten-free diet plan in our “Accelerated” package. Additionally, all members can choose their meals and designate whether they’d like certain foods to be excluded from their diet. Meals are carefully formulated to provide balanced nutrition and necessary vitamins for a healthy lifestyle, even with exclusions. Meals are pre-prepared and delivered directly to your door to set you up for success in your gluten-free diet plans. For many of our members, it’s the solution they’ve been searching for! Learn more about how it works or contact us today.