Gluten Free Diet have been one of the most sought after food variety in the recent times. So what are these gluten free products? Gluten is formed from the amalgamation of several proteins which are predominantly found in wheat and related grains including barley, oat, triticale etc. Therefore, Gluten-Free refers to the exclusion of those food products which contain gluten in them. Gluten tastes similar to cornstarch and is the component in wheat which strengthens dough.
Why Gluten Free Diet?
Now one may contemplate that when gluten is naturally occurring then why is there such row about Gluten-Free diet and Gluten-free cereals which is leaving everyone scratching their heads over it! Well, the protein ‘Gluten’ causes severe health problems for those which are suffering from Celiac disease and for those who are prone to Gluten-sensitivity. Besides these main health problems, Gluten consumption may also be harmful in case of persons suffering from gluten ataxia and wheat allergy. In cases of persons having Celiac disease, gluten consumption leads to destruction of villi of intestines, which leads to deterioration in the nutrient absorbing capacity of the body which ultimately leads to undernourishment. This damaging effect is perhaps the most significant reason as to why the world is moving towards gluten-free food products.
Spectrum of Gluten Intolerance
Sources of Gluten:
While wheat and its derivative products are the most prominent source of gluten, other sources include
- Malt based products as malted barley flour,
- malt vinegar,
- malt syrup along with Brewer’s yeast also contains gluten in substantial amounts.
Benefits of Gluten-free diet:
As stated earlier, the main reason for gluten being harmful is its role in degrading the human body’s nutrient absorbing capacity from the consumed food. Consequently, the patients of celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity are prescribed strictly to have gluten -free diet which will help them immensely in dealing with gluten related health problems. In many cases, only consuming gluten-free foods has been so effective against celiac disease that no other medication was required to deal with this undernourishment causing disease. Apart from this, consuming gluten-free products has also proven effective in tackling irritable bowel movements and in lowering risk appetite for diabetes as well. In addition to all this, Gluten-free foods mainly consist of green vegetables, fruits and whole grains which when consumed pave the way for a healthier and a much more proactive lifestyle. Various researches have also hinted at the promising perspective of “natural gluten-free foods” in reducing weights and extra fat of the body because of having antioxidant features.
Is it for everyone?
Whenever a new Diet is introduced, people just start following it blindly and many times because they feel that the diet will help them to Lose Weight. Weight loss has become one of the mental blockage where people want to lose weight and follow all practices without understanding the consequences and harmful effect of it. Here we come to drawbacks of having Gluten-free diet. As stated earlier, Gluten is a natural component of primary food products like bread, cookies, pasta etc. which are wheat based products. So in this manner by excluding these products from menu on a regular basis, one is sure to miss out on a well-balanced diet. But this minus point of gluten free diet becomes exacerbating if the substitutes for gluten-free foods are highly processed gluten-free products like energy bars, pastries etc. instead of naturally gluten-free foods like green vegetables and whole grains. While on one hand, highly processed gluten free products do not offer multitude advantages as gluten-free diet should offer, on the other hand, these processed foods may even create other health related issues including overweight and obesity.
Which Food Items are gluten-free?
While most of the green vegetables and fruits are gluten-free several varieties of whole grain foods and lean proteins constitute an enriched source of gluten-free foods. At the same time utmost care should be taken to avoid processed and packaged food items which make a fake claim of being gluten-free and instead do not add any value to the health of one’s body.
Dont just follow the world blindly
Nowadays, consuming gluten-free food has become a fad rather than necessary and as such more and more people are having gluten-free diet just to showcase themselves as being trendy. Though consuming gluten-free diet is a healthy stance, yet one must understand the delicate intricacies associated with the right selection of gluten-free products. Hence, with proper care and appropriate selections, the world can safely move to incorporate gluten-free foods as an integral part of diet on a regular basis. Stay healthy with glutton-free diet!
In the end here are a few Gluten Free recipes which you can try -
About the Author: This Article has been written, researched and shared by Shobhit Dwivedi, who is an engineer by degree, a gourmand by heart and loves to research and write about food, health and fitness to satiate his passion for them. You can follow Shobhit on Plattershare.