Is a Gluten-Free Diet Actually Healthy for You?
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The internet has been on all rave about gluten-free diets for the past year or so. We’re seeing supermarkets having a separate section for gluten-free products and the idea of a “gluten free diet” is more publicized by celebrities than ever.
This has pushed gluten to be portrayed as a villain who is bad for your health and something you should avoid at all cost. But should you go along with the hype? Ever wondered what gluten is or whether there is any actual proof of gluten being bad for your health? Should yogis eat gluten? Let’s delve deeper into the subject!
Gluten is the protein found in barley, wheat, and rye. It basically acts like glue; hence it is the substance that is responsible for the grain to hold its shape. A small percentage of the world’s population is incapable of digesting gluten. Compared to an average person, people with gluten intolerance can experience irritation, headache, and gastric problems once they ingest gluten.
So, let’s first see the group of people who should stay away from gluten.
Who Should Avoid Gluten?
Gluten-free diets were once meant for people who are affected by wheat allergy, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, and Celiac disease:
Wheat Allergy: This is a condition where the body gets allergic to all kinds of wheat. The body of a person having wheat allergy becomes hostile to the proteins in wheat. But the common misconception is that wheat allergy is associated with all kinds of gluten, which is wrong!
A person who suffers from wheat allergy must only stay away from wheat and can eat gluten present in any other form of food or ingredient.
Symptoms: Abdominal pain, swelling of lips and tongue, nausea, itching, breathing trouble or Anaphylaxis.
Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity: This is a unique case in which the body has trouble processing gluten and the body reacts by showing symptoms of vomiting or abdominal pain. This can be avoided by entirely removing gluten from your diet.
Celiac Disease: This is a genetic disorder and the most harmful condition of the three. People having Celiac disease can’t digest gluten. These gluten particles when passing through the small intestines will harm the finger-like structures present in the intestine called villi.
Over time, villi gets damaged to the point that the body becomes less efficient to absorb nutrients from the digested food. This is why people are having celiac disease exhibit late growth. It is said that of the world’s population, only 1% is affected by Celiac Disease.
Symptoms: Late growth, anemia, behavioral changes and infertility.
Should You Go Gluten Free?
Image source: ytimg.com
If you do not have the above-mentioned conditions affecting your body, then there is no real use in following a gluten-free diet. Studies have proven that having gluten removed from your daily intake may actually lower your immune response to germs or other alien particles entering the body. If you are a person who regularly eats food containing gluten and if your body doesn’t show resistance to it, then continue as you will.
The myth of gluten being a villain for all started when a false accusation went online saying that intake of gluten creates heart diseases. So, researchers from Harvard took action and conducted a study on more than 1,00,000 people regarding gluten intake. The result proved to break all the myths that surrounded Gluten. There was no damage to the heart and it was concluded that it is not recommended to cut gluten from your diet fearing any cardiac problems.
Are Gluten-Free Products Healthy?
Now, if you decided to go gluten-free one day and scoured through the supermarket for gluten-free products, you will come to know that these foods are processed and have more chances of containing higher sugar levels. Also, the cost associated with gluten-free products is sometimes more than twice the price of their wheat counterparts.
Doctors actually recommend not to remove gluten from your diet if you aren’t gluten intolerant. If you do so, you would be missing out on a well-balanced diet. Do not believe in the myths and lies on gluten as benefits of gluten include the following:
- Reduces the impact of toxic metals
- Lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes
- Decreases hearth issues as opposed to what’s being falsely advertised
- Anti-carcinogenic properties
- Calorie control
Continue on your path to enjoying food items that are rich in gluten, unless, of course, you are gluten intolerant. If you feel like you are gluten intolerant, visit a doctor before confirming on anything. Do not let myths and lies govern your life. Eat healthy, live healthy!
If you feel like you need to reset your health, instead of avoiding wheat, sign yourself up for a yoga and detox retreat to kick-start a healthier life!
You thought you could lose weight by going gluten-free? You can still do it by checking Dr. Mitravinda’s diet chart for weight loss in 7 days.
*Featured image source: glutenfreeliving.com