Gluten is a set of proteins that are found in wheat, barley and rye. Lately, the products that do not contain gluten are becoming more popular, and it is widely believed that they are healthier for our diet. In the market you can find flour and pasta, dry pastries and meats that do not contain this protein complex. However, is it beneficial for each one of us to avoid gluten?
There are some groups of people who will actually benefit greatly from a diet without gluten. However, other people will not enjoy the same results. Indeed, they may be harmed by the lack of healthy food consumption that contains gluten. Let’s see the groups of people that should avoid gluten in their daily lives:
Allergic to Gluten
As with other food allergies, if someone is allergic to a food, they are not allowed to consume it. Approximately one in a hundred children will develop a similar allergy. But very often, the children will overcome the allergy as they grow up. Of course, the allergy can be scientifically diagnosed. There are special tests that one can undergo to detect the IgE antibodies present in the body. Furthermore, the symptoms of the allergy are quite obvious. They include swollen lymph nodes and lips, red skin, runny nose, excessive stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea.
Patients with Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is similar to type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. It is an autoimmune disorder, and therefore one should not be misdiagnosed as allergic. Although there are extensive symptoms, often celiac patients experience chronic constipation or diarrhea problems, anemia due to low iron levels and weight loss. If diagnosed by your doctor with celiac disease (after the appropriate tests, and the necessary colon section biopsy), you should avoid any form of gluten in your diet.
Finally, there are people who are not allergic to gluten, but they are intolerant to it. As a result, the consumption of foods containing gluten may trigger symptoms such as stomach pain, bloating and gaseous feeling, weakness and fatigue, cramps and headaches. All the above are unpleasant indeed, but these symptoms are not severe enough to prevent an individual from continuing their daily life. The intolerance to gluten is like any other form of intolerance, such as lactose intolerance.
The latest trend indicates that a gluten-free diet has significant benefits to our health. But this is not true. Unless of course you fall into one of the specific categories mentioned above, thus eliminating gluten from your diet will highly benefit you. Everyone else, though, doesn’t have to follow such dietary plans. Indeed, many gluten-free products are full of fat and other unhealthy ingredients. In addition, there is the opinion that a gluten-free diet helps to reduce body weight. Without the necessary control of calories and nutrients of each meal, we can’t hope for a long-term weight loss and maintenance of ideal weight. So don’t get influenced by trends!
Best of Health,