What does gluten-free mean?A gluten-free food product is one that does not contain gluten.Usually, this term is most often used to describe a gluten-free diet.Do you suffer from Celiac disease ? Have you been diagnosed with gluten intolerance?In that case, removing this protein from your diet is a viable option.An estimated 1% of the population is in this group, although the number is possibly higher since there are a large number of undetected cases.
There are already several bestseller diets that blame this component of wheat for increasing blood sugar while the gluten-free market continues to expand. At the moment of truth: Is it so bad for our body?
What is Gluten?
Gluten is the combination of two proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley called gliadin and glutenin . Once they are mixed, they are responsible for giving texture to some foods, such as bread, for example. Those who can not tolerate it suffer from celiac disease, an autoimmune condition and that should be treated with a 100% gluten-free diet.
The negative effect of gluten is that it can interfere with transaminase enzymes , and make other proteins can not break into amino acids. Also, it makes the lining of the small intestine more permeable so that these proteins pass into the bloodstream, and the body rejects them, causing inflammation, and in the case of celiac disease, an acute autoimmune response.
This condition occurs in different ranges, from severe symptoms where some individuals suffer from weight loss, intestinal distention, cramps or stomach pains, and can cause developmental delays in the case of young children.
If left untreated it can lead to malabsorption of nutrients, and therefore eating disorders, as well as other complications. Others have few, if any, symptoms, they”only” feel fatigued, anemic, or have difficulty concentrating.
Also, people with celiac disease are more exposed to nutritional deficiencies such as Iron, B vitamin, and Folic acid .There has also been recent evidence of people with bone density problems.
Proponents of the gluten-free diet claim that humans still have a lot of time to adapt to wheat, and even though agriculture started as early as 12,000 years ago, not enough time has passed for our body to adapt and that is the reason, according to them, for some people to have celiac disease, or to develop gluten intolerance.
However wheat was grown in southern Anatolia 11,000 years ago, and archaeological findings in the Middle East indicate that people ate whole grains such as barley and wheat 23,000 years ago.
Some people may not have Celiac disease but still be sensitive to gluten.In this case, they could benefit from a diet limited in the protein.
In recent years, gluten consumption has been associated with the development of autoimmune type 1 diabetes (not type 2 diabetes, which affects the majority of the population), and is likely to have mechanisms similar to those of Celiac disease with antibodies that affect pancreatic islets. In animals, gluten-free diets find a reduction (not elimination, since the causes are multifactorial) of the incidence of type 1 diabetes, as well as the pattern of introduction of gluten into the infant’s diet
Gluten-free diet for healthy people?
When you walk down the aisles of your local grocery store you’ll probably find a lot of gluten-free products and might feel tempted to try their benefits on yourself but if you don’t suffer from Celiac disease or gluten intolerance it may be wise to ask yourself: do you really need them?
The controversy of gluten relies on the fact that it does not have any nutritional benefits, but on the other hand, most of the whole grains containing gluten do have many nutritional values.
Other experts, however, have scientifically proven that gluten provides benefits for most people, as long as they do not suffer from celiac genetic condition
The amount of food that contains gluten is greater than you can imagine. If you think that you eliminate gluten in your diet by not eating bread and baked goods, you’re wrong. Gluten is often used in sauces, flavor enhancers, and even as a binder or filler in vitamins and supplements.
While adopting a gluten-free diet may be helpful for some percentage of the population, gluten omission is neither necessary nor useful for the average healthy person and could lead to some serious nutrient deficiencies, and you might end up with low levels of iron and fiber among other essential nutrients.
Since the gluten-free diet has been around for quite a while now, you should be cautious and not make any decisions that could cause any unwanted side effects shortly. So the wiser thing for you to do is to keep well informed on the latest scientific-based research and not get carried away by overrated statements and hype and don’t forget to always pay a visit to the doctor before making any changes to your diet.