All on a sudden gluten free diet seems to go viral among everyone around. It looks like a rising trend to look for a diet free from gluten without going into any scientific basis that what benefits a gluten free diet could bring about. Studies reveal that around 30 % of Americans are seriously inclined towards a gluten free lifestyle which seems to be in vogue and a much misunderstood preference.
According to Dr Shiela Crowe,MD, a spokesperson for American gastroenterological Association and a professor in the Division of Gastroenterology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine “we don’t have proof to say if some are right and others wrong”.
However, it is trendy or not before choosing a gluten free lifestyle, you should know the following things:
- For some people eating a gluten rich diet may be harmful but for most it is absolutely not necessary to go gluten free:
Only about 1 in 133 people suffer from Celiac disease which is an inherited auto immune disease causing harm to the small intestine if gluten rich food is consumed. That makes only about 0.75 % of the population. Again, only 4 % of the people are allergic towards consumption of wheat that may cause respiratory trouble, skin disorders and gastroenteritis. So it is absolutely a wrong choice for all of us going gluten free depriving ourselves from the nutritional values of gluten rich food.
- If you suspect you have Celiac disease you must consult your doctor first:
If you are anemic, have iron deficiency or lose weight rapidly you may consider seeing your doctor. It will be unwise to decide on your own to eliminate gluten rich diet altogether from your diet chart without consulting your doctor first.
- Your family and friends might insist that you should go for a gluten free diet:
Their opinions are largely based upon celebrity inspired lifestyle where a number of famous personalities have been cutting down on gluten rich diet. You should not follow them blindly. Your well wishers might not really know what you are missing so far as nutrients are concerned if you are wrongly choosing a gluten free food habit when you really do not need it.
- You do not have to dispense with all types of grains:
All grains do not contain gluten. So you don’t have to sacrifice all grains from your life. Grains like millets, buckwheat, quinoa and Amaranth do not contain gluten. You may consume them. They are nutritious.
- Gluten itself is nutritious:
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten also exists in bulgur, farro and Kamut. If you do not suffer from celiac disease and still go for a gluten free diet, you are forcefully depriving yourself from the nutritional benefits of gluten rich food.
- Gluten can cause adverse effects even in people not having gluten sensitivity:
Here we have to say something in favor of avoiding gluten too. Even if you don’t have acute celiac disease, gluten can have adverse effects on your health at least the latest research shows this.There is a disease called non-celiac gluten sensitivity which will be aggravated if you consume gluten.Stomach pain, bloating, pain in bone and joints are the typical symptoms of this disorder. So to be on the safe side, you may stay clear of gluten rich food.
- Many brain disorders are associated with gluten and going on a gluten free diet can improve conditions:
Gluten sensitive idiopathic neuropathy is a disorder of the nerves that is caused by consumption of gluten. For patients having neurological disorders the cause of which is unknown, gluten free diet can improve conditions. Around 57 % of these patients had antibodies against gluten in blood.Cerebral ataxia is a probable cause of taking too much gluten. Patients suffering from epilepsy, schizophrenia and autism will do well if they abstain from gluten.
- Gluten can be addictive:
Gluten does have addictive properties. The more you eat the more you crave for further helpings.Gluten contains peptides that trigger the opioid receptors. These are called gluten exorphins which make a food item so addictive than the rest. Studying various cases of food addiction, wheat is found as one of the most addictive foods ranking just below sugar.
You may or may not choose to eat gluten rich foods. But instead of blindly following the trend, the choice should be based on proper analysis as per your health requirements.