The idea of gluten-free diets has become more and more popular. However, many people still either do not understand what gluten is exactly or have little-to-no understanding of how a gluten-free diet can be useful to your health. Here are top five concerns of going on a gluten-free diet.

1. Will you gain weight going on a gluten-free diet?

If you stick to a naturally gluten-free diet, this typically is not an issue. If you choose a gluten-free processed food diet, the answer is YES. When wheat flour is replaced with low fiber, higher glycemic flours such as corn, potato and rice flours, the sugar and calorie content goes up! This not only adds calories but makes the absorption rate into your blood stream very rapid. As a result, your body reacts by creating an insulin spike which in turn will make you hungrier and ultimately heavier!

2. Will I feel worse depriving myself of gluten if I have a health issue?

Eating gluten-free can eliminate symptoms from injury and disease as well as play a preventative role. All auto-immune diseases can greatly benefit from adhering to a gluten-free diet. Eating a natural unprocessed food diet that is gluten-free by nature helps reduce and prevent inflammation.

3. Will I feel not so good about eating gluten-free?

Although only a very small percentage of the population are celiacs, there are many more that are gluten intolerant. These intolerances can cause symptoms like bloating, gas and painful stomach aches. By eliminating gluten from your diet, many symptoms like bloating and gas typically disappear. Also, when sticking to a gluten free unprocessed food diet, energy levels tend to increase while accompanying a loss in excess body fat.

4. Will eating gluten-free make me deficient in certain vitamins, fiber and minerals?

This is absolutely not true. You do not need wheat, rye or barley to live a healthy life. By eating an unprocessed food diet, you will be eating more fruits, veggies and real food. Fruits and vegetables in their natural state are gluten-free and many contain decent amounts of fiber. Grains, brown rice, corn, oatmeal, quinoa, potatoes and yams are also some gluten-free choices. Just make sure you look for the “gluten-free” label to avoid cross contamination.

5. Is it very hard to do or be unhealthy?

It is simple and natural to do if you stick to foods that are naturally free of gluten. Focus on natural foods that once grew. Think fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, chicken, meats, eggs, dairy, potatoes, rice, etc. If it is not processed it is not only natural but it is also gluten-free. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye and barley; and it is found in many processed foods. When you eat unprocessed foods, you are less likely to find any gluten and you are avoiding the high sodium levels, preservatives and additives included in most processed foods.