We often hear that gluten is bad (which I agree it can be), but what happens to your gut bacteria when you go “gluten free”?
Well, it turns out that, “… subjects fed a gluten-free diet (GFD) developed significant changes in their gut microbiota” (Jackson, 2010, Br J Nutr, 104, p. 773), according to a review of an article on the effects of a gluten-free diet on gut microbiota and immune function in healthy adults.
Worse yet, subjects that went on a gluten-free diet had markedreductions in healthy Bifidobacterium and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii and increases in (not so healthy) Enterobacteriaceae and E. coli.
This shift is the exact opposite of what you’d like!
Why do gluten-free diets affect gut bacteria?
Well, it so happens that gluten-containing grains often have a lot of healthy fiber that your gut bacteria love.
So, when people remove gluten from their diet, levels of healthy gut bacteria also decrease.
Store-bought gluten free breads are often devoid of gut-healthy fiber, phytonutrients, and they often have unwanted sugar.
So sure, you’re getting rid of the not-so-healthy gluten, but you’re replacing it with not-so-healthy sugars and readily absorbable carbs.
Then, what’s the solution?
Eat more vegetables.
There are also several fiber-rich green and red powders on the market that supply fiber in a healthy way.
You can also be tested to see if you have a true gluten allergy or sensitivity.