There’s a lot of fear-mongering and misinformation on gluten out there, but it doesn’t poison the brain. People who don’t have celiac or a wheat allergy can eat gluten without fearing negative health consequences. Gluten will not cause brain inflammation, cognitive decline, or gut issues in people without celiac disease.
However, other preventable diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity can lead to cognitive problems, according to Heller. For example, Type 2 diabetes almost doubles the risk of dementia. Also, studies have found that heart disease leads to a 45% increase in impaired cognition. According to Heller, overweight or obese people have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
She added that, instead of pushing misinformation, we should focus on improving our overall health. Doing what we can to prevent disease will boost brain function, and it doesn’t require going gluten-free.
Here are a few common practices to maintain health and well-being:
- Make sure to exercise daily, doing something you enjoy. It will make it easier to work out if you actually like the activity.
- Eat more vegetables with your meals. Countries with the longest-living people eat mostly veggies and consider meat a complement to their meals.
- Include fresh fruits in your diet as well, along with more whole grain products. Foods like 100% whole wheat bread, multigrain cereals, oats, and barley are healthy choices.
- Avoid vegetable oils, as they’re more refined and can actually lead to heart problems. Choose extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or butter instead.
- Consume processed animal proteins, like lunch meats and sausage, sparingly or avoid them altogether. These have been linked to a higher risk of cancer and heart problems. If you’re a meat-eater, choose fresh cuts of meat that haven’t been smoked or processed.
- Drink plenty of water or herbal teas to stay hydrated. Avoid drinking excess caffeine or sugary beverages.
Final thoughts about a study showing that going gluten-free does not improve health in those without celiac
Despite the gluten-free food industry advertises, following this diet doesn’t make sense for those without celiac. If you’ve been sucked into the gluten-free trap, we hope this study will ease your fears about gluten. You can safely eat products with gluten as long as you don’t have celiac disease or a wheat allergy. You’ll save money, too, as gluten-free products are 242% more expensive than regular products, on average!