Have you ever wondered why some food products are tagged as gluten-free? What is gluten-free diet?
Have you ever thought like why these gluten-free products are expensive than regular food products?
After reading this article, you will get clear idea whether you want to or need to follow a gluten-free diet.
What are the problems, benefits, who it is for, and other information? So, if you want to know then keep reading the article.
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a naturally occurring composite of two proteins ( gliadin and glutenin). Gluten is a protein that is present naturally in grains. Wheat, barley, and rye contain a high amount of gluten in them. We use flour of these grains for making various kinds of bread.
When water is mixed with these flours because of gluten the dough gets to stretch and as a result, after cooking the bread we get that soft and fluffy texture.
It’s also often used as a thickening agent in other foods. It’s also found in pizza dough, pasta, and bread.
Apart from it, gluten is a very important protein for us, the following are some main benefits of gluten to our body: –
Benefits Of Gluten-Free Diet
- Gluten plays the role of prebiotic. It helps as a portion of food to the good bacteria present in our body. These bacteria are present in a healthy human gut.
- People who consume less amount of gluten have a high risk of heart diseases, Type 2 diabetes, and some other similar illness.
- Lowers inflammation: Inflammation is the immune system that is responsible for the irritation that can be caused by consuming gluten.
- Gluten-free diets can give your digestive system a rest. Which can help manage your digestive issues.
- Gluten-free foods can help you with your stomach bloating.
- Gluten-free eating may improve your immune system.
What Is A Gluten-Free Diet?
Gluten-free diet as the term suggests it means avoiding consumption of any food product that contains gluten. Gluten-free diet is only suggested by Doctors and Dietitians for those people who have grain allergy or medical issues like Celiac disease and Non-Celiac gluten sensitivity. In simple words, everyone does not have the same capacity to digest anything.
In this case, when a person having such disease consumes gluten-containing food his intestine overreacts to it and the walls of the intestine become unable to digest these proteins. If he continued to eat such food over a period of time he/she will face health issues like diarrhea, inflammation, weight loss, malnutrition.
According to various studies and reports, these diseases are the result of a genetic disorder and only 1% of the world’s total population is affected due to this.
Therefore, it is proven that if you are fit and fine you don’t need to follow a gluten-free diet.
Following are some problems that can individual face if he follows a gluten-free diet: –
Problems With Gluten-Free Diet
- Nutritional deficiency: As all the grains are going to be avoided while following this diet along with gluten other nutrients will be eliminated from the diet unintentionally. For example, grains are high in fiber and fiber is important for digestion, this situation can lead to constipation.
- The need for supplements: As nutrients are getting eliminated you might also need some artificial sources for gaining these nutrients such as whey protein, capsules, tablets, etc. I will link some of the best whey protein available in the market. AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.
- Cost: Gluten-free products are comparatively expensive than the regular products as they are manufactured especially for this purpose.
- Less availability of food products: Though it is a trending diet concept, has not yet expanded that much in the market. Very few substitutes are available in the market which are gluten-free. Many companies have launched their gluten-free products but again expensive prices become another problem for following a gluten-free diet.
- No specific health benefits: Gluten-free diet itself does not offer any specific health benefits.
- Weight loss: Gluten-free diet does not help you with weight loss.
Following a gluten-free diet is the only treatment for diseases like celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. If you ever feel sick or have symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, fatty stool, fatigue, bloating getting diagnosed by a doctor, and taking consultation from a dietitian can be helpful.
If you have a certain illness or gluten allergy following is the list of foods which are naturally gluten-free as well as healthy and nutritious:-
Foods For Gluten-Free Diet
- brown rice
- wild rice
- citrus fruits, including oranges and grapefruit
- cruciferous vegetables, including cauliflower and broccoli
- greens, such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard
- starchy vegetables, including potatoes, corn, and squash
- bell peppers
- green beans
- legumes (beans, lentils, peas, peanuts)
- nuts and seeds
- red meat (fresh beef, pork, lamb, bison)
- poultry (fresh chicken, turkey)
- seafood (fresh fishes, shellfish)
- traditional soy foods (tofu, tempeh, edamame, etc.)
Gluten is a very important protein for our body. Without consultation of doctors and dietitians eliminating grains or gluten sources can cause unwanted illness to an individual.
Especially in a country like India where our staple food is grain eliminating it from everyday meals won’t be a healthy choice.
However, the majority of people don’t need to follow a gluten-free diet. A high intake of gluten can harm your body. If you want to play it safe limit your gluten.
I hope you have got the correct idea about gluten and gluten-free diet. What’s your thought on this? Let us know in the comment section below. Thank you for reading.
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For Outside India
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