You have probably heard Gluten being bad. For most people, it is not. Gluten has played an important role in human diet since the days we stopped being hunters and gatherers and started farming. Gluten is a composite of protein found in grains, rye, barley and spelt. Wheat is just one popular source of gluten. What actually is this gluten and how is it so bad for your health? Are these fears justified, is gluten bad for everyone?
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a mixture of proteins. It occurs in grains of various cereals such as spelt, barley, oats, rye and especially wheat. When baking, Gluten is an important component of flour that provides properties without which baking would not be possible. The word Gluten comes from the Latin word for “Glue”. Without gluten, most of today’s baked goods would not exist.
Chemically gluten consists of smaller protein building blocks, Gliadin and Glutenin. Gliadin can be termed as a culprit for bothering people after the consumption of gluten-rich food items.
Is Gluten bad for everyone? Symptoms?
Now, it is very natural of you to think about gluten being just another food component and nothing special about it. Is it not? But do you know that according to a study published in leading scientific journal, New England Journal of Medicine, 55 diseases can be caused by intake of gluten? There is a wide array of conditions ranging from fatigue, canker sores to osteoporosis and inflammatory bowel disease.
How does even occur? How can an innocent protein component be responsible for such dangerous medical conditions? The answer to the above questions lies in the very fact that gluten works through its way of rendering troubles by making the body inflamed. Hence, a vast range of symptoms is observed throughout the body. It can also affect the brain or the nervous system in a similar way as it affects the digestive system.
People with celiac disease are intolerant towards gluten. Even minute quantities may be enough to cause symptoms troubles. The lining of the small intestine of the celiac patients is damaged after immune response generated from exposure to gluten. This, in turn, interferes with absorption of nutrients from food, cause the above-mentioned symptoms, lead to medical conditions like osteoporosis, infertility, nerve damage and even seizures.
Going on a gluten-free diet is extremely challenging for one and all. You must always remember that switching to a gluten-free diet can make you vulnerable to various nutritional deficiencies. Fortified cereals and bread are a major source of vitamin B. Gluten-free bread are not fortified with vitamins.
Also, people have been making to switch to a gluten-free diet in order to lose weight, boost metabolism or energy levels and treat autism. Although no scientific or research studies have proven the aforesaid facts. People are resorting to a gluten-free diet based just little testimonials in the media and that’s it.
Is gluten bad for everyone? Should I eat Gluten Free?
Statistically, less than 1 out of 100 people suffer gluten intolerance. However, the number varies greatly in different countries and continents. You need to consult with your physician to find out if you belong to the affected.
Just because something is gluten-free doesn’t mean that it is healthier. Especially for one who does not suffer from celiac disease!
When on a gluten-free diet it is important to replace gluten-containing foods with gluten-free whole foods. Make sure you eat all sorts of fruit and vegetables that suit your diet. Also, fish, eggs, poultry and dairy products are healthy and will help to prevent nutritional deficiency.