Things are not all rosy in the land of the wheat and gluten free. There are some drawbacks and it’s important to be aware of those before you make the decision to go wheat free. Let’s just dive right in and talk about the dark side of gluten free.

Nutrition Deficiencies

Going gluten free means that you’ll have to pay careful attention to your diet in more ways than one. In addition to avoiding anything with wheat or gluten you’ll also need to make sure you’re getting the fat, fiber, and protein your body needs. You’ll want to make sure that you get enough vegetables and fruits along with nuts and other whole grains into your diet.

However, the downside to going wheat free and the biggest nutritional challenge because of that might be getting enough vitamin B. Fortified breads and cereals are a primary source of B vitamins. B9 is also known as folic acid and is essential to prevent birth defects. To compensate for this potential deficiency, you’ll want to look into taking a gluten-free multivitamin and multi-mineral supplement.

A Lifetime Commitment

Another downside to going wheat free is that once you eliminate gluten and wheat from your body, you may not only want it but “need” to keep it that way. Many people who start eating gluten after an elimination find that they’re even more sensitive to it. This happened to me. After several months gluten free, I had a sandwich at a deli. They didn’t have gluten free bread and I didn’t think it would be a big deal. Boy was I wrong. I was sick for days. I felt like I had the flu. It was enough to convince me that gluten wasn’t for me and that sandwich certainly wasn’t worth feeling so sick.

Social Stigma

The gluten free diet is nothing new. It’s been around for a long time as many people have an allergy to gluten. The difference is that it is mainstream now. When celebrities start talking about how great they feel without gluten, people start listening and they start talking. However, a downside to going wheat free because of that is that you’ll need to be prepared for questions, judgments and many sighs.

Strangers aren’t much of a problem, it’s when your friends and family roll their eyes that it becomes frustrating. Here’s the key to managing this, remember how good you feel. Think about the weight you’ve lost, the energy you’ve gained, and the health improvements you’re enjoying. Their opinion about what you eat or don’t eat really doesn’t matter.

Gluten Free is Pricey

Finally, this last downside to going wheat free is unfortunately for many people a real blocker, because if you start going to the store to buy gluten free bread and treats, be prepared to spend some big bucks. A loaf of bread can cost you six dollars and the add on at a pizza restaurant for a gluten free crust can be almost as much. You’re much better off not adding these items to your diet, at least not on a regular basis. In addition to breaking the bank, they’re just not good for you. Make your own gluten free treats with the flours and meals mentioned in the post titled “The First Step To Eliminating Wheat from Your Diet.” They won’t spike your blood pressure or cause inflammation and the price is much cheaper than store bought goods. Also consider that being healthy is the new wealth, and not only will you feel amazing, but save on medical bills too…;)

There you have it, the major drawbacks and downside to going wheat free. If you’re dealing with digestive challenges, weight gain, constant cravings, low energy, poor sleep and aches and pains that you just can’t seem to get rid of, then gluten is a likely culprit. All of these “drawbacks” will feel minor in comparison to your improved health and vitality.

In the last post in this series we’ll wrap it up by talking about making the decision to commit to a gluten free and wheat free life.