Gluten-Free Diet: What It Means to be Gluten-Free

Know Simple Facts about the Gluten-Free Fad to See If It’s Right for You

 

What does gluten-free mean?

Gluten denotes the proteins that are responsible for giving nourishment to plant embryos during germination, and affects the elasticity of dough, allowing chewiness to baked products. Gluten-free means the absence of these proteins in any food products. These products are considered high in demand in the market following the popularity of gluten-free diet.

 

loaf of bread
 

Gluten-rich foods include wheat, barley, and other grains and starches. Gluten is also found in malt, ketchup, mayonnaise, French fries, processed cheese, sausage, beer, veggie burgers, energy bars, ice cream, cereals, and salad dressings—the list goes on and on.

Having heard of the mentioned commonly favored food on the blacklist may give you a heart break. Luckily, not all food contains gluten. Here are some of gluten-free products that you may consider buying for your next gluten-free meal.

  • Plain rice (white, brown, enriched, etc.)
  • Flours prepared from gluten-free grain
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Coconut

While there is hype on a gluten-free diet and a lot of people are now aware of such food intake, there are only fewer health cases on gluten than what is presumed by many. About one percent of the total population is reportedly diagnosed by celiac disease, a serious health problem arising from the intake of gluten. People with this kind of disease experience headache, fatigue, skin rashes, joint pain, reduced functioning of the spleen, nervous system injury, acid reflux and heartburn, dental enamel damage, and anemia. But the part of human body that is most affected by this disease is the digestive system. Children under two years of age experience vomiting, muscle wasting, and swollen belly, among others.

There are also some people who have gluten intolerance. They experience similar symptoms as those with celiac disease, except that the former doesn’t have damages in their small intestines. Still, it robs them of their freedom to eat without the fear of getting sick after.

It is with no doubt, a big hindrance in living a peaceful and normal life. That is why people who experience the symptoms after gluten intake follow a strict gluten-free diet to keep their doctors at bay.

 

pasta

 

Interestingly, more and more people are resorting to gluten-free diet, whether they are allergic or not to gluten. Searches on gluten-free diet food list are in the hype for several months now. People might say that removing food items containing gluten may mean a whole lot of sacrifices. Luckily, there are alternative dishes that can be enjoyed equally with those having gluten in their meals.

However, going on a gluten-free diet has its own setbacks. Doctors pose warnings on people who don’t have any problems to gluten intake but nevertheless avoid gluten-rich foods. While avoiding gluten can have its benefits to the person, it can also cause deficiencies that may harm the body. Considering there are vitamins and minerals that are only present in particular food products but are avoided because of the presence of gluten in them is a good reason for many to limit their strictness in their food intake.

Try some healthy gluten-free recipes! Get our recommended recipes in the next post.