Everyone is talking about and many people are following gluten free diets.
However, there are some positive sides to gluten in the diet. This article discusses
What is good about gluten and why you don’t need to, and shouldn’t completely cut it off from your diet if you don’t have a medical condition.
More and more supermarkets nowadays are stocking and promoting gluten free products. That is all well and good for people, who unfortunately suffer from celiac disease, who, for health reasons should stay away from wheat with gluten. However, most people who follow a gluten free diet do it, because it is the latest craze, and not because they suffer from celiac disease or a wheat sensitivity. Many just think that gluten free is just generally healthier.
Celiac disease is a condition caused by an abnormal immune response to gluten. This condition can damage the lining of the small intestine which, in turn, can stop important nutrients from being absorbed. The only way to be sure if you have celiac disease is to be tested for it. Although in some cases the disease can have few or no symptoms, there are some signs. These being diarrhoea, anemia, bone pain and a severe skin rash. If you feel you have any of these, then you should consult a doctor.
Some people may be sensitive to gluten but don’t have outright celiac disease. These people may feel better on a diet with less gluten.
So, for those of us who do not have celiac disease, or a wheat sensitivity, what’s wrong with them trying a gluten free diet to see how they get on with it?
Well, for starters, going gluten free means saying ‘no’ to many common and nutritious foods. Gluten is a protein found in wheats, barley and rye. Some experts also warn patients against oats too. Gluten itself doesn’t offer special nutritional benefits, however it’s the foods that contain gluten that do. They’re rich in an array of vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and iron, as well as fiber.
And from a health side of things, we should all know that carbohydrates shouldn’t be eliminated from the diet, no matter what the goal. Wholegrains are known to be a “good” carbohydrate and low on the glycemic index. As well as this, gluten free foods are often a great deal more expensive than those that aren’t.
Should You Go Gluten-Free?
Of course, eating gluten-free makes sense for anyone with Celiac Disease or a significant sensitivity to gluten. But for the majority of us, who are not bothered by gluten, are there real benefits to the diet overhaul? Not really, although some people report feeling better after reducing their intake of products with gluten. But take note: A food billed as “gluten-free” isn’t necessarily healthier. Gluten-free products can be high in calories, fat, and carbohydrates, and some people who go gluten-free actually gain weight. That said, if you are to go gluten-free, it can help lose weight, as long as you continue to eat a balanced diet, cutting gluten probably won’t cause any harm.
Finally, remember. If you feel you have a wheat intolerance, or may have Celiac Disease, then you must consult a doctor before you make any sudden changes.