Kids without gluten-related disease advised to stick to normal diet

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A gluten-free diet might be a necessity for some, but for growing kids without any gluten-related disease it's best to stick to a regular diet
By Jason Spencer | May 15, 2016
For kids and adults with celiac disease, a gluten-free diet is a must, as gluten can damage the small intestine and lead to bigger problems down the road. For everyone else though? Well, you do you, but some doctors are suggesting children not follow the gluten-free trend.

According to CBS News, a note from the Journal of Pediatrics suggest that children without life-threatening diseases that require a gluten-free diet stick to the regular recommended diet of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and yes, grains. This is due to the misconception that gluten-free diets are healthier for you, when really there aren't many known benefits to a gluten-free lifestyle.

"I think there's a side to the story of the gluten-free diet that's not often in information that's readily accessible to families and pediatricians," saidDr. Norelle R. Reilly,a pediatric gastroenterologist for the New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center.

Jennifer Willoughby, a pediatric dietician at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital, shared similar sentiments, especially when it came to youngsters taking on a gluten-free diet without necessarily needing to.

"When we're looking at removing basically an entire food group from the diet, if there aren't enough appropriate substitutions in there, we run the risk of poor growth, malnutrition and missing out on a lot of their necessary vitamins and minerals," said Willoughby. "They lose out on a lot of B vitamins, a lot of iron, and fiber if the diet is not followed in a proper way."

Both Reilly and Willoughby suggest consulting a family physician before young children are put on a gluten-free diet if celiac disease is not a factor.


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