15 Sep Should you go gluten free?
Are you planning to go gluten free to lose weight before holidays? If you are, then this article will be helpful for sure.
Let us first understand what is gluten?
Gluten is a glu like substance which is present in grains which makes the dough sticky. It is a family of proteins glutenin and gliadin. Surprisingly, Gliadin is the protein which is bad for health. Making a dough of grains is possible due to this glue like susbstance which creates a net and binds the flour together.
What is gluten free diet?
Gluten free diet involves avoiding grains which has gluten. Here is a list of grains:
These grain flour become sticky when they are mixed with water. Some people are allergic to gluten so, they prefer avoiding the above grains.
Who should avoid gluten?
People generally tolerate gluten without any sensitivity. But people diagnosed with Celiac disease have severe allergy to gluten. Symptoms of celiac disease are as following:
- Chronic Diarrhea
- Unexplained weight loss
- Weak bones
- Joint pain
- Stomach and muscle pain
- Joint Pain
What is celiac disease?
Celiac disease triggers overreaction to the protein available in glutenous food and starts damaging the lining ( villi) along the wall of small intestine. When these villi are injured, the body cannot absorb appropriate nutrients from food and leads to the above symptoms.
People suffering with the following also tend to avoid gluten.
Non celiac gluten allergy:
Despite testing negative for gluten allergy some people do show allergic symptoms to gluten, those people should not consume glutenous food/products.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome:
Having experienced IBS myself, I can say that it is very difficult to zero down on one thing which irritates the stomach causing pain, diarrhea or constipation.
People who are suffering IBS can get benefitted with gluten free diet.
To follow a gluten free diet, you need to totally avoid food and grain containing gluten. It is always better to have only whole food like vegetables, fruits and other non glutenous grains.
Here is a list of gluten free grains:
- Cassava flour
- Water chestnut and water chestnut flour
What are the disadvantages of gluten free diet?
As per NCBI, here are some of the disadvantages of following a gluten free diet.
Deficiencies of Micronutrient and fibre
Naturally, when you avoid certain food group, you tend to be deficient in micronutrients. You might be having fibre deficit too.
Financial cost of gluten free diet:
Due to the popularity of the diet, the food market is full of gluten free diet and needless to say that the cost of all gluten free products is double the normal food.
Increase in fat content of food:
A 2013 nutrition survey performed in support of a thesis included 58 healthy adults on a GFD and showed that men on a GFD consumed significantly lower amounts of carbohydrates, fiber, niacin, folate, and calcium, but significantly higher amounts of fat and sodium, than men on a GCD.69 Women on a GFD consumed significantly lower amounts of carbohydrates, fiber, folate, iron, and calcium, but significantly more fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, than women on a GCD. Overall, adults adhering to a GFD did not consume enough nutrient-dense foods to meet all nutritional recommendations. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5866307/)
In short, while following any diet or any fad, it is always better to thoroughly check the pros and cons of the same. Following a diet blindly without being in touch with the requirements of the body would not work in the long term. Though some people have experienced weight loss on gluten free diet, unless absolutely necessary and prescribed by the doctor, gluten free diet is not recommended.