Is gluten as bad as we think?
Gluten has been a hot topic over the past decade or so. Should I consume gluten or not?
First what is gluten. Gluten is primarily protein(s). The two main gluten proteins are gliadins (which are soluble) and glutenins (which are insoluble). Gluten can be found in wheat, rye and barley. Translated: bread’s, pasta’s and even beer.
So let’s start with the facts that have been known for quite some time. People who have celiac disease, gluten intolerance, certain digestive tract issues and certain autoimmune diseases, should not consume gluten. Even the smallest amount of gluten can wreck their intestines and ruin their day.
However, for the rest of us, gluten should not affect us the same way it does to the individuals listed above. That does not mean it cannot affect us.
Many people who go on a gluten-free diet claim that they increase their energy levels, sleep better, have a better mood, etc. That may be true but that may not be from the lack of gluten. Your increased energy and better mood may because you cut out many processed foods, where gluten likes to live. By eating a healthier diet, by default you may consume less gluten and then feel positive effects. Which is great but it may not have been just the lack of gluten.
Switching out foods that have gluten to say eating more fruits or vegetables, will of course have a positive impacts on your health. That is why eating a healthy diet on a daily basis is critical to good health. Consuming a lot of processed foods (which tend to have gluten) is never a good idea.
Gluten (Processed foods) --- switched out for more fruits and vegetables --- equals decreased calorie and sugar intake --- equals weight loss and increased energy.
Also remember, just because you hear gluten free, that does not mean a healthier option. It just means no gluten was used to make the product. It can still contain a lot of calories, sugar and/or fat. Be mindful of this when choosing your food.
Lastly, there is still a lot of research being conducted to determine the relationship between gluten and the human body so what we know today may be different tomorrow.
For those with celiac disease, have gluten intolerance, digestive tract issues caused by gluten or an autoimmune disease with a direct connection with the consumption of gluten, do not consume gluten.
For everyone else, as long as you eat a very healthy diet on a regular basis, you should be fine consuming gluten from time to time. I like to call it the processed food free-diet rather than the gluten-free diet.
Note: If you you feel consuming gluten is hurting your quality of life, please consult with your doctor or physician to get tested to see if you have celiac disease or are gluten
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