What is Gluten Free?

Gluten Free Diet, is it for everyone?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like rye, barley and wheat. As a result, gluten is found in a many foods including bread, pizza, pasta, crackers, etc.

UntitledRecently, many believe that consuming gluten is harmful for the body.  While it is true that a gluten free diet can be healthier for some people, it is not true that a gluten free diet is helpful for most people.

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Actually, there is some data that shows gluten may have some good health effects.  Gluten has the ability to block a process within the human body to cause a lowering in blood pressure.  A lower blood pressure can help prevent heart attacks and strokes. Both a heart attack and stroke can lead to being disabled for life and even death.

Gluten has also been shown to decrease infections within the human body.  It does this by increasing the number of cells that fight against bacteria, viruses and cancer. Also, Gluten can help protect the kidneys (an organ in the body that helps filter waste from the body).

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Some people may argue that being on a gluten free diet will help you lose weight. However, this is not true. Being on a gluten-free diet is not helpful in losing weight. Many of the gluten-free products replace gluten with material high in fat. Because they replace gluten with fat this increases the risk of getting fatter on a gluten-free diet.

 

Even though Gluten is not harmful for most people there are some people who will need to eat a gluten-free diet to stay healthy. These are people who are sensitive to Gluten. People who are sensitive to Gluten are people we have an illness called celiac disease. People with celiac disease will have stomach pain and cramps, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and feelings of being tired when they eat Gluten. For these people, and only these people, gluten-free diet is good for them. It is also important to mention that when these patients stop eating gluten they need to take certain vitamins and supplements; these include things called thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and iron. Because they don’t eat foods with gluten they need to find another source for those essential minerals.

To conclude, a gluten-free diet is recommended for a certain group of people but for the general population gluten is safe and may in fact be beneficial for one’s health.