WHAT IS GLUTEN-FREE & SHOULD YOU GO GLUTEN-FREE?
With the rise of advertisements, endorsements and social media opinion leaders promoting gluten-free diet as healthy for losing weight, the “healthy diet” has become one of the most popular controversies in the community. But where did this diet come from?
The gluten-free diet is primarily adopted by patients with celiac disease to manage the disease, which later on sparked a trend amongst the wellness community. The initial purpose of the diet is to treat celiac disease and avoid hereditary autoimmune diseases. People diagnosed with celiac disease is intolerant to gluten as it triggers an immune response in the body which damages the lining of the small intestine. The damage can affect the absorption of nutrients in these patients. People who are sensitive to gluten or intolerant to wheat also have a gluten-free based diet.
Gluten is the protein found in grains and its derivatives. It covers a wide range of food produce such as wheat, spelt, barley, malt and oats. The substance adds consistency and elasticity to grain-based doughs like bread, pizza and pasta, which is why gluten-free alternatives to these foods might offer a different mouthfeel and taste.
Scientific evidence that shows a gluten-free diet is healthier and aids weight loss is still insufficient. The diet is commonly used in the medical world to treat fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory diseases, but the correlation between gluten and weight gaining is still a myth. Before taking on an entirely gluten-free diet, the nutritional value of grains should also be taken into considerations. It is essential to carefully research on what evidence the market offers and what alternatives can provide the same nutrition found in gluten.
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