Gluten free products have flooded the market after it was revealed that a relatively large proportion of the population had some sort of allergy to gluten, a common protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Although present in just those grains, their use is so widespread that your condiments and ice cream may have traces of gluten in them. For people who are sensitive to it, or suffer from celiac disease the minute quantities could lead to health issues, making gluten free products even more important for them.
But should we be consuming gluten even if we don’t have an allergy to it?
Absolutely. Health fads revolving around cutting out entirely our gluten intake have been debunked over the years, as scientists and nutritionists warn that those not suffering from gluten sensitivity could incur such issues as weight gain, vitamin deficiencies and various imbalances. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it is all bad.
Reducing your gluten intake could lead to healthier consumption habits if you are supplementing your diet with a range of foods. Gluten free diets tend to cut out processed foods, which are a net positive no matter which way you look at it, and opens up a range of healthy options such as quinoa. If you are indeed gluten sensitive, this will improve your health considerably by aiding your intestines to recuperate and improving their efficiency, meaning you could gain more weight.
However, there are also several issues that need to be properly addressed. As aforementioned, weight gain and loss, vitamin deficiencies and various imbalances are also known side effects of cutting out gluten filled products. The diet you would undertake once cutting out gluten tend to be high in processed carbohydrates, fats and sugars but low in fiber, traditional carbohydrates and nutrients.
A sudden change in diet also influences your body in more ways than one leading to unhealthy weight loss due to nutritional deficiencies and potentially weight gain due to the high fat and sugar diet that replaces your usual balanced intake. It is for this reason that it is recommended that anyone considering to cut out gluten consult a nutritionist beforehand in order to generate a working meal plan. Additionally, it also ensures that a medical professional is able to tell you whether or not you would benefit from such a diet, and that you do it properly, rather than haphazardly follow the latest fad plastered on the internet.