Everywhere you turn more and more people are turning gluten-free. This recent phenomenon is changing they way millions of people fuel their bodies; however if you’re anything like me, then you probably have your doubts. In this post I’m going to explore the reasons for people turning gluten-free, and if it’s any benefit to us.
What is gluten?
First things first, let’s get to know what we’re talking about. Gluten is a mixture of two proteins found in the cereals wheat, rye and barley. Some people also react to a similar protein found in oats. To help give you a better idea, here is a list of foods containing gluten.
Foods containing gluten:
- Pizza bases
These are just a handful of your typical, everyday foods. Gluten can even be found in popular processed foods. As you can see from the list above, those who go gluten-free are cutting a lot of carbs out of their diet. In addition to this, gluten can also be found in non-food products. Such as: certain cosmetics, and certain toothpastes.
So, Why are people going gluten-free?
Originally the only people leading a gluten-free lifestyle were those with Coeliac disease. The disease (Pronounced ‘See-liac’) affects the immune system. Causing the body’s immune system to attack its own tissue when gluten is consumed. This can result in the body’s inability to absorb essential nutrients and proteins.
People who suffer with Coeliac disease must maintain a gluten-free diet, in order to remain fit and healthy. Which is completely understandable. However. As you may know, many people without the disease are turning to a gluten-free lifestyle. This is due to a somewhat unproven list of benefits; here are the list of benefits claimed to be true by those with a gluten-free diet.
Claimed benefits of going gluten free:
- Reduction of inflammatory diseases such as IBS
- Reduced bloating
- Loose weight
- Reduced gas
- Increase in energy
- Improved mood
- Ideal for anyone with allergies and intolerances
The truth is that going gluten-free is a very viable option if you have Coeliac disease, suffer with inflammatory problems (Eg: IBS), and/or have serious food allergies. Otherwise going gluten-free has no direct affect on your health at all. Some of the claimed benefits such as reduced bloating, loss of weight, and reduced gas may be true. However these benefits are not due to the removal of gluten from the diet. They’re In fact down to the significantly reduced carbohydrate levels in your diet.
In conclusion, going gluten-free is understandable if you have on of the mentioned health issues. Otherwise all other benefits experienced are down to the low carb, high protein ratio in the diet. Therefore the same benefits of going gluten-free, can be achieved through a reduction of carbs in the diet. It really is that simple. Still thinking of going gluten-free?