It may seem like there is a new diet plan and guideline everywhere you turn these days. However, while certain kinds of meal plans and guides are becoming the latest rave, there are some others whose origin come from actual medical background and research into people with real-life conditions. One such diet is the gluten free diet and simply, it is a diet that does not involve the consumption of gluten in either processed or non-processed form.
The big question then becomes, what exactly is Gluten? Gluten is a kind of protein found in specific food substances which are almost exclusively grains. Grains such as barley, wheat and rye are well known to be the most predominant sources of gluten. Essentially, a gluten free diet is only advisable for individuals who have certain diagnosed gluten related health problems and have shown to react negatively to the presence of gluten in their diets.
Interestingly, this diet has not only gotten traction among people with gluten related health problems but also among the rest of the population. However, there are no real confirmed benefits of a gluten free diet to the general populace. In fact, removing gluten entirely from your diet may affect your nutritional needs and even impede your intake of vitamins, fiber and other nutrients.
Who Should Get On a Gluten Free Diet?
Without a gluten related health problem, you should be able to have it in your diet without any adverse reactions. Unfortunately, those with specific conditions will not be able to tolerate it and must find ways to eliminate it entirely from their systems. These conditions include:
This is the most predominant reason to get on a gluten free diet. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the body is unable to recognize the gluten as proteins but sees it as a threat. This leads to a defense mechanism reacting to attack these gluten proteins, thereby damaging the surrounding areas including the gut walls. This leads to harmful digestive problems, harmful diseases and a barrage of nutritional deficiencies. Celiac disease has a wide range of symptoms which can be attributed to many other health problems and this makes it quite difficult to diagnose. Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach discomfort/pains, nausea, weight loss, constipation and even depression.
Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
A truly peculiar case, the non-celiac gluten sensitivity comes with all of the symptoms that is associated with having celiac disease with the major difference of digestive wall damage. This means that while the gluten does not have any real damaging effect on people with the condition, they still experience the same painful symptoms that people with celiac disease experience. The process has been studied but not well understood and people with this condition are advised to maintain a gluten free diet.
Just as the name implies, wheat allergy is contraindicated in individuals whose internal systems are unable to process wheat correctly. Not only does the body target the gluten present in wheat as a disease causing organism, it creates an anti-body to fight it off, thereby resulting in breathing difficulties, congestion and other symptoms.
If you have any of the above listed conditions, then it is very important that you pay attention to what you eat. It is important to note that not all grains contain gluten. Corn, millet, rice and lots more are safe to eat but you should always ensure that even the processed foods you consume are entirely gluten free.