Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains, and therefore, it is spread in bread, pasta, conventional flour, semolina, cakes, etc. For people who have difficulty digesting it (gluten intolerance or celiac disease), it is essential to adopt a gluten-free diet, since gluten absorption causes significant digestive disorders. But in recent years, the gluten-free diet has begun to be adopted by people who do not tolerate gluten, due to the health benefits it provides. Going gluten free is an important dietary option for many people and can provide many health benefits, such as reduced inflammation, a milder digestive process, increased energy, clear skin, hair protection and regulated hormones, among others.
Gluten Free Diet:
The term gluten free has become a buzzword in recent years and is even considered a fad diet, but there are many misconceptions that must be understood before jumping into the world of being gluten free. For starters, gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, rye and barley. However, due to its usefulness as a binding agent and its relatively low cost, you can find gluten in many amazing places, such as pickles, sushi, curry powder, hot dogs and licorice. Pick up a random food package at the grocery store, and there is a possibility that it contains gluten. Obviously, completely eliminating gluten from your diet is therefore a challenge, although, in the last decade, gluten-free options have increased exponentially. Now, the gluten-free diet has become the center of attention due to increased awareness and diagnosis of celiac disease throughout the country (and in the world), and the understanding that not all chronic stomach concerns can be Quickly label IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Celiac disease, by definition, is an autoimmune genetic disorder. When a person with celiac disease consumes gluten, the body identifies the protein as a foreign or dangerous substance, which produces an immune response in the small intestine.
This immune response can seriously damage the small villi of the small intestine that are essential for food digestion and nutrient absorption. In addition, the immune response causes vomiting, nausea, fatigue, bloating, weight loss, ADHD, irritability, irritation and rashes, stunted growth, joint pain, depression and dozens of other symptoms. It is believed that up to 1 in 100 people suffer from celiac disease, but the diagnosis is still rare. It is believed that approximately 2.5 million people have undiagnosed celiac disease in the United States alone. In addition to celiac disease, there is also wheat allergy (1 in 1,000) and gluten sensitivity as reasons to eliminate or greatly reduce the amount of gluten that is included in your diet. What further complicates this is that many people do not show definite or severe symptoms of the disease, but their small intestine is still damaged, sometimes for years. It may only manifest itself in small ways, such as chronic fatigue or eczema, but it will not become a more obvious health problem for years or even decades. However, the damage is still being done. After eliminating gluten from your diet, the symptoms can often disappear in a matter of weeks, but damage to your digestive system can take years to heal completely.
The Gluten Free Trend:
With the massive boom in the gluten-free food industry, initially driven by people who need to eliminate gluten, this eating style has also become “modern” and “popular,” which makes many people try the diet, believing that It may be a healthier option, such as trimming carbohydrates. However, the nutrients found in wheat, rye and barley are incredibly important for human health. Whole grains can help with everything from heart health and diabetes to obesity and cancer. Gluten itself is related to strengthening immune function and maintaining the balance of intestinal flora. Doctors encourage people with gluten sensitivity to “try” gluten again once a year to see if the sensitivity has decreased, due to the benefits that whole grains have on the body. In other words, if you are not in approximately 2% of the population that may suffer from celiac disease, wheat allergy or gluten sensitivity, eliminating gluten from the diet can have a negative effect on your diet. Also, if you reduce your gluten for “modern” reasons, but you actually have celiac disease, it will be much harder to diagnose.
“The small amount of gluten you consume will continue to damage your intestines over time, even if you are not seeing other serious symptoms”.
With that said, for those with celiac disease, wheat allergy or gluten sensitivity, there are many health benefits of going on a gluten-free diet!
Gluten Free Diet Health Benefits:
The health benefits of a gluten-free diet include better digestive efficiency.
1. Reduce Inflammation:
By eliminating gluten, you can prevent the immune response from inflaming the tissues of the small intestine, which can quickly eliminate the most immediate symptoms of celiac disease, such as vomiting or diarrhea. This inflammation will also mean less cramping and swelling.
2. Improves Digestion:
The small intestine is a critical part of human health, as we absorb many critical nutrients in this part of the digestive tract. Eliminating gluten will protect the villi, ensuring that they can absorb all the nutrients that are available in our diets.
3. Increase Energy:
Chronic fatigue is one of the most common complaints of people who suffer from gluten or celiac intolerance, so eliminating gluten can give you an energy explosion. The intestine is a key to general health, so ensuring that it is in good shape has effects in many other areas.
4. Skin Protection:
Eruptions, psoriasis and eczema are observed at higher frequencies in people without a diagnosis of celiac disease, so if you eliminate gluten under this condition, you can enjoy clear skin that does not itch or discolor when you eat certain foods.
5. Hair Care:
One of the long-term effects of gluten attacking the small intestine of the body is nutrient deficiencies. The body will protect its vital functions, but things like hair growth and health are often secondary, and premature hair loss is common in undiagnosed celiac patients. Keep your delicious strands in place by eliminating gluten.
6. Better Immune Function:
More than 50% of the immune function in our body occurs in the intestine, and when there is chaos in the small intestine, the balance of the flora of the bacteria is severely compromised. This can weaken the immune system in general and cause a chronic illness, so getting rid of gluten is a good idea.
7. Regulates Hormonal Levels:
Women who suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity often experience menstrual irregularities; periods are often missing or very severe. By not having gluten, the immune system can behave properly and avoid the imbalance of hormonal levels, which provides significant relief for many women.
8. Decrease Stress:
High levels of anxiety and depression are frequently observed in patients with gluten or wheat intolerance, so if you want to sleep well and reduce irritability, eliminating or completely eliminating gluten could be the solution you are looking for.
Final Word of Warning: if you think you have celiac disease, are gluten sensitive or have a wheat allergy, talk to your doctor or allergy specialist and get tested, instead of just getting in the car and cutting off all the foods that contain gluten from your diet For those who do not have these three conditions, a gluten-free diet is not only unnecessary but can be dangerous to your health!
Risks of the Gluten-Free Diet:
For many, reducing or eliminating it can even lead to weight gain, since most alternatives to gluten-containing foods are higher in fat. In addition, the gluten-free diet can lead to deficiencies in the essential elements that you should get.
The Most Common Deficiencies in the Gluten-Free Diet are:
- Vitamin D
- B12 vitamin
You can anticipate and discover what foods will help you fill this gap or you can use our vitamin supplements. Of course, some lose weight, but this is mainly due to the fact that becoming “gluten-free” offers a smaller variety of foods and, therefore, reduce our daily caloric intake. However, whole grains are part of a healthy and balanced diet, and eliminating gluten if you do not have the real need, you lose many nutritional benefits of this type of food (vitamin B, minerals, etc …).
Start a Gluten-Free Diet?
To begin, you should focus on the maximum consumption of raw / unprocessed foods, such as fruits, vegetables, chicken, fish and lean meats (all gluten free). This is a good way to rule out all sources of gluten in your diet. Add that in everyday life, going to the restaurant or eating out can get complicated quickly when you follow a gluten-free diet … so it would be smarter to contact the establishments in advance to find out if the menu offers gluten-free options. Also, do not forget to always inform your server about your sensitivity to gluten, or about your various allergies, as they are used and will be happy to help you.
Beware of Hidden Gluten!
Eating industrial and refined foods is not recommended because gluten can be disguised and not explicitly listed as an ingredient. However, today most stores have a section dedicated exclusively to gluten-free products.
Products that Generally Contain Gluten:
- Flour in general
- Pita bread
- The cakes
- The wheat
- Oatmeal (which contains a protein that is very similar to gluten but is not exactly the same) Also note that many oat and field products will be cross-contaminated, so if you decide to buy oatmeal make sure you buy a certified brand without gluten).
What is Gluten Free Foods?
Excluding gluten from your animation means excluding certain foods from your gluten-free diet … But fortunately, but there are still many gluten-free alternatives to foods such as cereals and baked goods, as well as many fresh foods that can replace those that contain gluten.
Apples, oranges, grapes, bananas, grapefruit, pears … etc.
Potatoes, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, cabbage, lettuce, etc.
- Sauces and Spices:
Tomato sauce, mayonnaise, salt and pepper: be careful with soy sauce and salad dressings in general that may contain gluten!
- Raw, Fresh and Unprocessed Meat.
Chicken, veal, pork, fish, eggs, etc. Pay attention to sausages, cured meats and any seasoned / prepared meat as they may contain gluten.
- The Milk Products:
Milk, cheeses, yogurt, butter, cottage cheese… Pay attention to processed cheeses and the blue cheese that may contain gluten contains this bread pan. Also, always check the yogurt labels, making sure there is no fiber or cereals added.
Rice, potatoes, beans, quinoa … and avoid instant mash!
- Nuts and Spreads:
Peanut butter, almond butter, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, peanuts … and avoid all roasted, salted and flavored nuts…