Pros and cons of gluten-free diet

Pros and cons of gluten-free diet

A gluten-free diet is definitely one of the fashion trends in nutrition. Around us more and more people choose this way of eating and the truth is that we see positive results in terms of weight in the first person.

WHAT IS GLUTEN?

Gluten is a mixture of protein contained in cereals such as wheat, rye, and barley. It acts as a binder and gives elasticity to dough. In contrast to other plant proteins gluten has poor nutritional properties.

This is a complex protein that is found in cereal grains. Thanks to gluten the dough becomes elastic and rises when baking. Gluten appears in any products from wheat, rye, oats, barley and their derivatives – bread, cakes, bagels, cookies, cakes, pizza and pasta. There is gluten even in beer and vodka.

Gluten intolerance

Coeliac disease – Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease, which typically occurs at a very early age (between 6 months and 2 years of age). Upon consumption of gluten ruins the coating of the small intestine, which makes it difficult the absorption of nutrients. Symptoms of Coeliac disease can be gases and swelling, weight loss, constant fatigue and feeling of weakness.

Other forms of gluten intolerance

According to some scientists, a very few people intolerant to gluten have Coeliac disease. Various studies show that the vast majority of patients with autoimmune diseases are highly sensitive to gluten and feel much better when it is removed from their diet.

A survey in the US showed that 30% of adults avoid foods that contain gluten. This trend started with popular stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, and Victoria Beckham – they gave up the use of cereals in any form.

It is believed that gluten develops diabetes, increases the weight and it causes fatigue and loss of concentration.

We offer an explanation of nutritionists about the eventual damage caused by the gluten, contained in wheat, oats, rye, and barley.

Pros and cons of gluten-free diet

A gluten-free diet is the latest fashion in a healthy lifestyle. As we know, however, not everything in life is black and white. We present to you the pros and cons of this type of diet and leave the decision to you.

PROS of the gluten-free diet

  1. For people intolerant to gluten its removal from the diet is absolutely essential. They begin to feel much better and the nutrients in food can finally be absorbed by the body.
  2. By eliminating gluten from the diet and remove high-calorie carbohydrates that make you feel bloated and dropped out. If you replace them with other carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, for example, you will feel much more energy.
  3. Reducing weight is another great reason to remove gluten. If you replace bread, pasta, and sweets with more fruit and vegetables you will quickly get rid of the annoying fat.
  4. It stimulates generally more healthy life. If you switch to such a diet, you will need to read more labels and cook most of your food at home. This will reduce the consumption of harmful processed foods.

Cons gluten-free diet

  1. Unfortunately, the gluten-free nutrition regime requires the refusal of many delicious meals such as pizza and pasta, bread, pastries and pancakes, cereal and muesli, sauces, pies, beer and more.
  2. The lack of knowledge regarding which food contains gluten can lead to a shortage of carbohydrates, fiber and other nutrients such as vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, and iron.
  3. Since foods containing gluten are rich in carbohydrates, they give a lot of energy. For this reason, they are often replaced with fat and sugar, which represent a considerable threat to health.
  4. Preparing gluten-free meals requires preparation and time. It is necessary carefully to select ingredients and recipes. In addition, if you keep such a regime alone you should cook your food separately from the other family members.

If you decide to go on a gluten-free diet, do it the right way

If you choose to remove all products from wheat, be sure to replace them with healthy, whole gluten-free foods such as quinoa and buckwheat. Make sure you have a balanced diet and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to provide essential nutrients to your body. It is advisable to consult a registered dietitian with expertise in Coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity, to make sure that you will receive your daily need of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Many people improve their health by reducing the amount of gluten intake instead of stopping the intake completely. Limit pasta, bread, oats and other cereal products to once a day. If you decide to stop the intake of gluten completely, do your research to make sure you get your daily needs of micro- and macronutrient.

Here are some of the most easily accessible foods without gluten:

  • Nuts – Almonds, hazelnuts, chestnuts, peanuts are gluten-free unless they are processed with other products such as wheat for instance. Dry roasted nuts are better to be avoided because they are often treated with flour.
  • Rice – According to experts, all kinds of rice are gluten-free.
  • Corn – Corn and cornmeal not in all its forms contain gluten. The same goes for popcorn, corn starch, and corn malt. It is necessary, however, again carefully to read the labels.
  • Bean cultures – Legumes also contain no gluten. These include peas, lentils, chickpeas, and all varieties of beans. If they are processed with oil also not likely to be consumed by people with Celiac disease.
  • Other foods – Examples of other approved foods without gluten are amaranth, buckwheat, canola, cassava, coconut meal, cottonseed, hominy, orchid, millet, cassava starch, potato flour, sesame, sweet potatoes.
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About Jane Peterson

Jane Peterson is a supportive nutrition and fitness coach and registered dietitian nutritionist known for her health advices and innovative ideas to inspire and motivate people to reach their goals. She has a passion for personal training and enjoys motivating people, using specific exercise programs and track their progression for success. As a parent herself, Jane Peterson knows what it means to have to work hard to keep a good shape during pregnancy and after having a baby. She is interested about improving the way children eat, pediatric nutrition and family meal planning. Jane has several years of personal and professional experience and is practicing as a freelance food and health writer. She works personally with a small number of hand picked clients, transforming their health and their physiques using her four key elements of wellness: lifestyle, exercise, nutrition and supplementation.