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Ask the Experts: Going Gluten-Free
Updated: Thursday, December 19 2013, 11:50 AM EST
Montgomery (Liz Bonis) -- Should you follow the popular diet trend of gluten-free to improve your health in the new year? Medical reporter Liz Bonis Asks the Experts in our medical edge.
Gluten is kind of an overview name for the proteins that would be in wheat, rye and barley. "Those who have a true allergy to gluten due celiac disease, have to eliminate it for good health. But for the rest of us, "some people find it helps with inflammation, to reduce that some people find it helps them lose weight ."
Bridgett Raffenberg found it helped her with both of these things, "I lost 12 pounds since the first of October, more or less just from eating more whole foods, and eating what i should be eating."
She admits as she makes these gluten-free cookies with registered dietitian Kathy Haugen, she doesn't miss everything but she does miss beer. Even so she says, "my joint pain is almost gone, and when I do go out for a beer or two, the next days my knees will hurt."
Haugen says giving up gluten can have hidden health benefits. "Just by virtue of not eating gluten, you avoid the processed foods, so that's going to be healthier."
She does suggest however that if you are going to choose to go gluten-free in the new year or any time soon, that you don't just focus on what you take away, but rather what you add in, to round out and balance your diet. Which means add in more fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and gluten-free grains such as brown rice, and you have a healthy diet, as well gluten-free cookies for dessert.