Gluten-free diets can be healthy and for some they’re absolutely necessary. But many people think they have a gluten allergy without having been tested for it, and that means they could be missing their actual health issue, such as irritable bowl syndrome, explains Vancouver-based dietitian Desirée Nielsen. Before ditching gluten, ask your physician for a test to see if you’re truly allergic, Nielsen suggests. Keep in mind that a wheat allergy or celiac disease screening won’t work if you’ve already gone gluten-free.
Another reason gluten-free diets worry Nielsen is, despite being hyped as healthy, gluten-free products “are often filled with processed flours like (white) rice flours.” While they’re more difficult to find, less mainstream brands are now offering gluten-free options with brown rice or other whole grains.