Gluten free, Wheat free and Celiac is something we are hearing more and more about when it comes to eating healthy and following a diet, but why, and who should be following it.
Firstly let's look at what gluten actually is.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, bulgur, spelt, and most cases due to cross contamination oats. It has been stated that 93% of the world can eat gluten at free will.
Now let's look at Celiac disease, and gluten intolerance;
Celiac disease is an auto immune disorder of the small intestine. When someone who has celiac disease does eat gluten it causes inflammation to the small intestine. Gluten intolerance is also known as non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity. Gluten intolerance is where someone doesn't have the celiac disease but still suffers from the symptoms of being celiac. When someone with celiac disease eats gluten, this causes an attack on the immune system, whereas if someone with a gluten intolerance were to eat gluten this would not play any role with the immune system.
Why should someone follow a gluten free diet?
If you have celiac disease, or non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity then you should absolutely follow a gluten free diet. Following a gluten free diet offers not extra benefits for someone without the previously stated conditions. If anything people who follow gluten free diets miss key nutrients from things like bread, and oats.
Why would someone follow a gluten free diet?
Now with today's "low carb" craze, the gluten free diet would look amazing to anyone. No bread, pasta, pizza, biscuits, take-away, and many more foods people would like to exclude. There is nothing wrong with excluding those food choices from your diets, but the psychology behind exclusive diets has told us that anytime we tell ourselves not to eat something, we want it more. Most foods that are naturally gluten free do happen to be quite healthy, and a diet high in those foods will see long term health. But (there's always a but), you do not need to follow a "gluten free" diet to eat these foods, eat a balance diet - filled with gluten free food, and gluten riddled food.
Most foods that have been made to be gluten free, such as gluten free pasta, biscuits, breads and things like that are much more processed then the non-gluten free variety. So, do yourself a favour and save yourself the $9.99 for the loaf of gluten free bread and invest in something cheaper.
Take home message.
Following a gluten free diet should only be followed by someone needing to. Following a gluten free diet can't miraculously remove stomach fat or anything absurd like that. So, please eat your glutens.
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