Adhering to a gluten-free diet is vital for people suffering from a gluten-intolerance or Celiac disease, but going gluten-free isn’t necessarily a way to lose weight or eat healthier. Lynch says many gluten-free foods and recipes use tapioca flour as a binder substitute, but this ingredient provides little or no nutrition—not to mention that gluten-free cookies, muffins, pretzels, and the like are still junk food. Instead of focusing on gluten-free labels, aim for well-rounded diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits, veggies, beans, lentils, nuts, lean proteins, and—yes—whole grains. A great source of fiber, whole grains can help regulate blood sugar, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, reduce colon cancer risk, and aid digestion, so there are plenty of reasons to continue to enjoy them as part of a healthy diet.
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