Morning Rounds: Is ditching gluten actually healthy?

Posted at 10:50 AM, Jun 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-13 10:50:30-04

Norfolk, VA - Going gluten-free is a growing trend, with 25 percent of Americans hopping on board.  While people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity should avoid foods containing the gluten protein, News 3's medical expert says most people do not need to cut it out of their diets.

"It's not even better for us," said Dr. Ryan Light, speaking of 94 percent of the population who do not have gluten allergies.  "Some people would actually have some health problems with lack of vitamins and minerals from going gluten-free."

Dr. Light also explained ditching gluten does not guarantee a smaller waistline.

"A lot of times when we go gluten-free, we're getting rid of the wheat, and the rye and some of the other grains that are in there that actually in there contain gluten," said Light.  "So what they do is they substitute in rice flour, or potato starches in there to make the flour to make those breads, which actually have  higher calories in them and less vitamins and minerals."

Dr. Light urges people who suspect an allergy to gluten to talk to their doctor about getting tested before simply eliminating it from their diet.