Look around and you’ll find yourself surrounded by a number of people who have suddenly started branding themselves as ‘health buffs’. Amongst the many things you hear from them, one such is the ‘gluten-free diet’. Gluten is the protein which holds wheat together and gives it shape. Essentially a gluten-free diet is one that excludes most grains and is recommended for those who are gluten insensitive or with celiac disease. Those on a gluten free diet should say goodbye to most breads and make friends with corn, rice and potato staples.
Gluten-free guidelines for the beginners
If you are new to the gluten-free world, it is easy to get it wrong. One of the most intrinsic things to do if you’re adopting this diet is to check the labels. Steer clear of things like beers,stuffing and dressings on salads and energy bars of all kinds.
Gluten-free diet is magic for the gluten intolerant
For those who are gluten intolerant, eating gluten rich foods can lead to irritation of the abdominal lining and hence going gluten-free makes sense. Beans, seeds and nuts in their natural form are naturally gluten free. So is fresh meat, poultry and fish. If you must have grains then the ones like flax, millet, brown rice, and quinoa etc are gluten free.
Relief for those with gastrointestinal disorder
For those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, dieticians prescribe a special FODMAP diet (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) and gluten free foods (wheat, barley, rye etc) which are high FODMAP foods.
Gluten and Autism
Findings by Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota found that a gluten-free diet can help children with autism. The study found that the incorporation of such a grain-free diet helped improve social and behavioral skills and learning in autistic children.
Gluten-free people are happy people
Many people without celiac disease said that following the gluten-free diet made them feel better. However, dieticians say that this could be attributed to the removal of sugar high snacks and desserts and refined carbs. To do this you don’t necessarily need to go gluten-free, why not just cut down the excess sugars and keep eating gluten if your body allows it.
Gluten-free is a great diet but the reason behind should be health and not a health trend. The biggest risk of this diet is missing out on a balanced diet. Follow it if your body needs it, not because a fad craves it. Always remember that smart eating is healthy eating.