Unless someone has a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease – an autoimmune condition in which gluten causes potentially life-threatening intestinal damage – Consumer Reports says there is little reason to eliminate gluten, and doing so may actually be a disservice to one’s health. Less than seven percent of Americans have these conditions.
For those who must cut out gluten, Consumer Reports recommends doing so in a healthy way and has some suggestions on how to do so below:
1. Eat grains. For those on a gluten-free diet or not, eating a variety of grains is healthy, so don’t cut out whole grains. Replace wheat with amaranth, corn, millet quinoa, teff, and the occasional serving of rice.
2. Shop the grocery store perimeter. Stick with naturally gluten-free whole foods: fruits, vegetables, lean meat and poultry, fish, most dairy, legumes, some grains, and nuts.
3. Read the label. Minimize the intake of packaged foods made with refined rice or potato flours; choose those with no-gluten, non-rice whole grains instead. When buying processed foods, keep an eye on the sugar, fat, and sodium content of the product.