Gluten-Free Diets

Gluten is a group of components found in most cereals. Unfortunately, in terms of nutrition, gluten doesn't have particularly important benefits for the human body.
Gluten-Free Diets

Last update: 22 October, 2018

Gluten-free diets are becoming more popular. However, there are many people who take up these dietary programs without medical consultation. For those who suffer from celiac disease or another disorder caused by the consumption of proteins, gluten-free diets are not negotiable.

A popular consensus has severely stigmatized the consumption of gluten. Many people with digestive problems or other medical issues, choose of their own accord, to reduce their consumption of gluten. Aside from these, there are also people who simply believe these proteins are linked to the problems of obesity or excess weight. By extension, they believe their consumption of gluten can lead to the development of diabetes.

Gluten: a controversial component of food

Many healthy adults with no sign of celiac disease or gluten allergies have found gluten-free diets to be an (apparent) road to weight loss. This phenomenon has been supported by certain internationally recognized celebrities who insist that they keep in shape by adhering to gluten-free diets.

Gluten-free diets can be more expensive

At the same time, there is no scientific study to support these claims. In fact, some specialists have found that people who consume “pro-gluten” diets enjoy a slight reduction in their risk of suffering from heart problems.

You can justify eating gluten by the fact that eating more whole grains is healthy. Of course, those with celiac disease or other groups intolerant to gluten, are forbidden from eating these.

Where is the problem with gluten-free diets?

The efficiency of a diet is often found in its ability to maintain balance, and avoiding extremes. As such, while experts have not found any benefits of avoiding gluten for healthy adults, they advise against eating too much of it.

Nevertheless, in most of the symptoms of being overweight – high levels of cholesterol or circulatory problems – gluten is nothing more than an element within a greater problem. The actual causes of excessive weight are unbalanced diets with a high amount of flour or saturated fats. At the same time, these diets tend to have few fresh foods.

Experts have not established a direct relationship between reducing the amount of these proteins in the diet and weight loss. Nor have they confirmed any direct association with the development of diabetes. Actually, research has proven that gluten, despite not providing any nutrients itself, fulfills an important role in the absorption of calcium and vitamin D.

Vitamin d may be lacking in gluten-free diets

When gluten-free diets are non-negotiable

Experts estimate that one percent of the world population suffers from celiac disease or some other disorder that’s related to gluten. They also believe that symptoms are rarely diagnosed. That’s because, most of the time, the symptoms aren’t very clear.

The only treatment that’s effective for controlling these negative effects is to follow a gluten-free diet. However, these diets offer no safety zone or clearly-defined thresholds.

Beyond diets

Around 80 percent of people with gluten intolerance have some type of permanent lesion in their digestive tract. This happens even when they follow strict diet plans and can come as a result from several factors. Some examples are cross-contamination or consumption through medications with small traces of gluten.

Fresh, unprocessed foods should be the priority

There are a wide range of gluten-free products available on the market. Nevertheless, diets for people with celiac disease or for anyone else who may have a problem with gluten, should follow a fundamental principle for healthy nutrition. This is, quite simply, balance.

Many of the processed flours without traces of these proteins, might have the same effects as “ordinary” products. That is to say, they may lead to weight gain and circulatory problems, among other negative effects.

Aside from these, you should consider the economic side of such diets. Products that companies process for people who are intolerant to gluten, are between three and four times more expensive than normal products.

It’s always important to eat a diet with high quantities of fruits and vegetables, that are rich in fiber. You should also include fish and high-quality meats in any balanced diet. This will guarantee that you consume the greatest amount of nutrients every time you sit down to eat.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.