We chat with Sydney based Nutritionist Caroline Trickey on why you should seek professional advice before adopting a gluten-free diet.
From a young age, Caroline Trickey always knew she was going to work in food and health. Having a strong passion for clean eating and great foods, and fascinated with the idea of maintaining good health through food, she just knew being a nutritionist was the way to go for her.
Now a well known qualified dietician, nutritionist, eating psychology coach, health coach and even a cook book author, she has created a movement towards the education of why, how and when you should be eating a gluten-free diet.
“Many gluten-free products contain ingredients which are high in GI and have empty calories. Empty calories often have no nutritional value, which means you’re consuming calories with no health benefits at all. When you consume high GI and empty calorie foods, the body will often convert these into excessive sugar. This can either lead to weight gain, or even diabetes.” She said.
In 2016, the CSIRO conducted one of Australia’s largest diet surveys on record; The Healthy Diet Report. The report concluded that one-in-three Australians; which is approx. 12.1 per cent of the Australian population, have cut gluten from the diet entirely, without first seeking any medical advice. This is due to many people claiming a gluten diet leaves them feeling bloated, with stomach cramps and even fatigued.
But, by cutting gluten out of your diet without seeking professional advice first, it could be creating more health problems.
“By cutting out many essential nutrients; which are contained within a lot of gluten categorised grains, the body is missing out on a lot of necessary nutrients required to help stabilise a healthy gut system. To maintain a healthy gut lining, the body needs to be fed essential amino acids and flora ingredients, which is often found in grain like foods. These are vital to helping the body maintain a healthy gut – which is important for all over general health.” Caroline explains
Gluten is a protein which is found in wheat, barley and rye, and scientists have recently discovered many essential proteins found in these grains is vital for normal tissue development in the gut, which can even help in the prevention of cancer.
“I’ve treated a wide variety of new clients, who have all chosen to go gluten-free, without first getting tested to determine if gluten is causing their health issues. They come to me with a barrel of health issues, from bad skin to high insulin levels, and even weight issues. All mostly stemmed from cutting gluten from their diet, and replacing it with something worse.” She says.
So, what’s the best alternative? Well first things first, seek professional advice. That way they can help you structure out the perfect meal plan, should you be required to cut gluten from your diet.
Foods like buckwheat, or oat based bran, rather than wheat based brans are a great replacement, including plenty of legumes. These foods provide you body, particularly the gut with all the essential flora, vitamins and minerals needed to sustain optimal