Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley, and rye that can cause digestive problems and intestinal damage if not tolerated (6-8% of Americans are gluten intolerant). It’s also recommended that people suffering from inflammatory diseases and autoimmune disorders avoid gluten, which increases risk of digestive trouble and joint pain.
But even for people who tolerate gluten, there are some benefits to limiting the amount consumed. After eliminating or reducing gluten intake, many people report improved digestion, weight loss, increased energy and better concentration, fewer colds, and clearer skin.
Mainstream health sources warn against going full-out gluten-free if you don’t have to (mostly because a balanced diet includes whole grains, which many people get from wheat), but there are so many naturally gluten-free meals (and traditional cuisines!) that gluten-freeness is probably just fine. Wheat is not inherently bad, in fact, whole wheat is quite good for you; it’s just not necessary (or healthy) to eat it at every meal.
Here are just a few examples of naturally gluten-free meals that are no problem to whip up without all the special refined gluten-free flours, etc.
Oats, of course
(( A Tina Times compilation ))