‘Health is Wealth’ someone truly said so! It is essential to remain within the healthy BMI range. Some people to lose weight try out all kinds of diet plans. A gluten-free food diet is one such diet that a lot of people are discussing these days. Before taking up any diet plan we need to understand our body and its requirements. What are the requirements of our body and what it does not need? Also, what we need to understand is, what are we planning to not eat and how it will affect our body.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein that is naturally found in some grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. It acts as a binder and holds food together. The stretchy and tossy quality of the flour is because of gluten. Without gluten, the dough would rip easily. Gluten in itself provides no essential nutrients. At the same time, there is no evidence that getting rid of gluten helps to lose weight.
When Is Gluten A Problem?
Eating gluten-rich food is a problem for those who have celiac disease, wheat allergy, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (gluten intolerance). In such people, gluten can cause serious side effects. Their body treats gluten as a toxin which causes their immune cells to overreact and attack. Some of the side effects are:
- Alternating constipation and diarrhea
- Unintentional weight loss
- Intestinal damage
In very severe cases there is a higher risk of osteoporosis (due to malabsorption of calcium and iron), infertility, and nerve disorders.
Understanding The Human Body
Being gluten intolerant means your body is unable to digest this protein. It passes through your small-intestine undigested. This indigestion may cause inflammation and irritation of the small intestine. This inflammation hinders the small intestine from absorbing the nutrients and result in nutrient deficiencies. The most affected nutrients are Vitamin B12, Vitamin K, Vitamin D, Calcium, and Iron. Deficiencies of these lead to various other diseases and problems.
Gluten Rich Food
Those suffering from gluten intolerance or celiac disease should eliminate gluten from their diet. Foods that contain gluten are
- Bread: All wheat-based bread
- Pasta: all wheat-based pasta
- Cereals: Unless labeled gluten free
- Baked goods: cakes, cookies, muffins, pizza, bread crumbs, pastries.
- Sauces: Soy sauce, salad dressings
- Beverages: barley malt, beer, flavored alcoholic beverages
Foods that are naturally gluten-free are:
- Meats and fish:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Grains: rice, quinoa, corn, millet, oats
- Starches and flour: chickpea flour, corn flour, soy flour, coconut flour, almond flour, tapioca flour
- Nuts and seeds
- Spreads and oils
- Herbs and spices
Negative effects of Gluten-free diet
- It is not rich in fiber so may cause constipation.
- Gluten is rich in prebiotics which enhances the gut health.
- Eat more of naturally gluten free food than processed and labelled gluten free food, as processed food is known to be unhealthy.
- Gluten free food is expensive as compared to normal food.
- It makes socializing difficult as gluten free food is not available everywhere.
Go for a gluten-free diet only if you are gluten intolerant or have the celiac disorder. There is nothing healthier than a plate of balanced meal.