A couple of weeks ago, Miley Cyrus revealed it was a gluten allergy -- not eating disorder -- which prevented her from eating fast food.
She recently tweeted, "Everyone should try no gluten for a week! The change in your skin, physical and mental health is amazing! U won't go back!"
Miley isn't the only star who has gone gluten-free. Ryan Phillippe, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Jennifer Eposito have are among many celebs who have cut gluten from their diets,
Interest in gluten-free diets has skyrocketed in recent years, and toofab caught up with registered dietician and wellness expert Kristin Kirkpatrick to talk about eating gluten-free.
toofab: How do you know if you have a gluten sensitivity?
Kristin: It’s important that we distinguish between being diagnosed with celiac disease, an auto-immune disorder where the consumption of gluten can lead to damage of the small intestine and possible nutrient deficiencies, and gluten sensitivity. For individuals that believe they are sensitive to gluten, one approach may include keeping a food or symptom diary for at least 14 days to determine if consumption of gluten-containing food and products is associated with negative physical symptoms. The best bet, however, is to make an appointment with your doctor to get tested for wheat allergy, celiac disease, and/or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
toofab: What are the benefits of a gluten-free diet (even if you don't have a sensitivity)?
Kristin: For those who are diagnosed with the auto-immune disorder celiac disease, adhering to a gluten-free diet is a must as gluten can cause damage to the small intestine and will interfere with the absorption of nutrients from food. For individuals who feel they have a gluten sensitivity, there may also be potential benefits to living a gluten-free lifestyle. Anecdotally, many individuals that have gluten or wheat sensitivities often cite decreased digestive symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, and excessive gas. While there aren’t any studies proving weight loss as a result of a gluten-free diet, watching your gluten intake may cause you to have a heightened vigilance towards label reading -- a key component in any healthy diet.
toofab: What's a good way to introduce gluten-free products into your diet (what's a good "starter" food)?
Kristin: Gluten-free foods have come a long way over the past decade in terms of taste and texture. As such, people who need to go gluten-free should not fear that a bland diet is in their future. When it comes to nutritional value, gluten-free can still provide you with the fiber and nutrients you’d expect from gluten containing foods BUT the key is knowing what to look for! To ensure you’re getting the most bang for your nutritional buck you should stick to only 100% whole grain options. Udi’s Whole Grain Bread Loaf, Udi’s Millet-Chia Bread Loaf, and Udi’s Omega Flax and Fiber Bread Loaf are all great options.
toofab: Do gluten-free products sacrifice taste?
Kristin: Gluten-free doesn’t mean taste-free. In fact, the gluten-free product category has come a long way over the past 10 years, and there are now tons of different gluten-free products on the market that taste great.
toofab: What are some products that people would be surprised can be gluten-free?
Udi’s Gluten Free Foods offers a wide range of items. The following were the most popular items this past year: white sandwich bread, bagels (available in plain, cinnamon raisin, and whole grain), pizza crust and even blueberry muffins!