Gluten myths busted: Expert reveals whether you really need to avoid it
Few people know that most of the common food items like bread and pasta are a good source of gluten.
Gluten is a form of protein that can be found in wheat, barley, rye, and spelt. Wheat is the most common source of gluten. Glutenin and gliadin are two of the main proteins in Gluten and gliadin is the main cause of many adverse health effects related to Gluten. Few people know that most of the common food items like bread and pasta are a good source of gluten. In fact, today, many people are opting for a gluten-free diet for different reasons.
Some are made to believe that a gluten-free diet helps in reducing weight while others are gluten intolerant and are expected to be on a complete gluten-free diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Dr Archana Batra, a nutritionist, Physiotherapist and Certified Diabetes Educator shares her insight.
Here are some facts and myths about gluten diet that you ought to know-
1. Gluten sensitivity is real
Some people may find difficulty in digestion of gluten induced food like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If you are certain that you experience any of these symptoms after consuming gluten, go for an examination. You don’t have to go on a gluten-free diet completely but continue consuming it for examination.
If the results prove your suspicion, then a gluten-free diet will help you live healthily.
2. Gluten rich items are protein enriched
Gluten in itself is protein and is found in abundance in some foods like wheat, rye, and barley. Regular consumption of these food times will provide you with necessary protein, soluble fiber, and other micronutrients. However, there are some alternatives that you can opt for when going on a gluten-free diet like oats, amaranth and quinoa etc.
3. Gluten sensitivity is rare
Studies have proved that gluten sensitivity in a population is highly rare, affecting from 0.5-6% of the population and the symptoms that you are experiencing may not be a cause of gluten. To avoid falling prey to myths, go through a diagnosis instead of opting for self-diagnosis.
4. Gluten-free diet will not help you with weight loss
Since gluten is found in wheat and barley, it may get harder for you to switch to a completely gluten-free diet. The alternatives may contain added saturated fat, sugar and salt which will only add to your body fat and increase your intake of calories, and may not be enriched with essential minerals and vitamins.
5. Gluten-free diet is not for everybody
Some people suffer from intolerance towards gluten and face challenges in digestion but that doesn’t mean that gluten is harmful to everyone and they all should opt for alternatives. Know that gluten is a protein that will only make your body healthier and gluten can be present in unexpected food items like wheat used to prepare certain sauces, salad dressings, malt used in malted milkshakes and vinegar.
Before being a fellow of a herd, we must do thorough research and draw conclusions based on facts and not be blindsided with myths. If you’re concerned about your health and are scared, it’s always advisable to consult your dietician and get a proper diagnosis.
Always remember that if you eat healthy, you live a healthy life.