What is a Gluten-free Diet?
It’s a diet that excludes gluten, a protein found in wheat and other related grains such as barley and rye. Although Gluten is potentially harmful because it causes health complications in wounded areas of celiac disease (CD) and even causes some severe cases of wheat allergy. Gluten actually causes severe inflammation in the small intestines of patients with celiac disease. A gluten-free diet, on the other hand, is a treatment or remedy for celiac disease and any person who’s diagnosed with such a disease, can only be prescribed a gluten-free diet — it is the only effective means of treatment to date.
Thus, eating a gluten-free diet helps patients with celiac disease lower their signs and symptoms and also prevent further complications. More so, some people who may not have celiac disease also may develop symptoms when they eat gluten – and suffer from a condition known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Luckily people under such condition may benefit from a gluten-free diet, although there is no published material or experimental evidence that fully supports such claims. It would be great if the ongoing research and much heated debate on non-celiac gluten sensitivity, would finally unveil about its usefulness nevertheless.
Agreeably, a drastic shift to a gluten-free food diet is a big change and, like everything else new, it takes some time before a person finally adapt. You may at first feel deprived by the diet’s acute restrictions, particularly if you weren’t showing any severe symptoms before your earlier diagnosis. Although it’s healthy to focus on all the variety of foods you can eat instead, eventually you’ll find some of the many gluten-free products being such a worthy splurge. In fact, many grocery stores everywhere normally sell gluten-foods.
In case you can hardly find any in your area, make sure you check with a celiac support merchant or search online. Most gluten-free diets are very popular and endorsed and raved by celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Karan. More so, the book — Wheat Belly which ironically refers to wheat as a “chronic poison” became a New York Times bestseller within the first month of publication in 2011. In fact, many people buy gluten-free food because they think it will help them lose weight, which is highly restricted and isn’t recommended at all. A gluten-free diet is specifically for patients who suffer from celiac disease and those who develop any symptoms after consuming foods with gluten.
So, if you’re thinking of starting a gluten-free diet, it’s great to consult a dietitian first because he or she will answer any questions you may have and offer advice and useful information about how to avoid gluten while still working on a healthy, balanced diet.
Many healthy and super-delicious foods are naturally gluten-free, here are a few:
- Beans, nuts and seed in their natural and unprocessed form
- Fresh eggs
- Fresh meat, fish and poultry
- Fruits and green vegetables
- A variety of dairy products
Though, it’s also important to ascertain that neither of the foods are processed nor blend with gluten-containing grains, preservatives or addictives. Some of the grains and starches that can be a part of a gluten-free diet are such as:
- Corn and cornmeal
- Gluten-free flours (corn, rice, potato, soy and bean)
- Hominy (corn)
Above all else, unless great care is taken, a great deal of the gluten-free diets lack essential minerals, fiber, and vitamins which are normally found in most wheat-based flours and ingredients like wheat, rye, kamut barley, and other gluten-containing whole grains nevertheless. Some may even contain a huge dose of fat and calories, so make sure you don’t use any of the gluten-free diets for other reasons, use the diets if you’re a patient and as directed or advised by your dietitian.