Gluten-free seems to be a popular phrase around dieting and lifestyle changing circles these days. It seems that almost everything has a gluten-free counterpart. But is it just a fad or is there more to giving up gluten?
One of the biggest advantages of choosing a gluten-free lifestyle is that all your favourite foods can be made in a gluten-free variation. As the guys at some of the local Mornington Peninsula breweries will tell you, that even includes your favourite drink which is beer!
Why Gluten-Free isn’t Simply a Fad!
These days it may seem that every second person has adopted a gluten-free lifestyle. But what exactly does that mean? Essentially, gluten is the term for the proteins found in grains such as rye, wheat and barley.
Gluten is usually found in bread, pasta, baked goods and cereals. Other not so common places to find gluten include beer, certain medications, salad dressings and even deli meats. This begs the question, why are so many people avoiding gluten at all costs? Read on to see some of the more common reasons.
1. The Popularity of Paleo, Keto and Low-Carb Diets
In recent years health fanatics have turned to a low-carb style of eating with the intention of losing significant weight and increasing energy levels. The two most popular of these diets are the Paleo and Keto diets.
These two diets require you to eliminate bread and gluten from your daily eating plans. They also aim to reduce your intake of processed foods and encourage you to rather consume foods in their organic forms.
2. Wheat is a Common Allergen
Giving up on gluten means you’ll no longer consume any wheat or gluten-containing grains. This means your system will no longer be exposed to one of the top allergens on the food pyramid.
There are a few diseases that are associated with gluten intake. The most popular of these is Celiac disease which is an autoimmune disorder. Gluten causes damage to the small intestine, and this results in severe digestive distress. Untreated celiac disease can lead to conditions such as multiple sclerosis or diabetes.
3. Gluten Could Block Nutrient Absorption
People suffering from gluten sensitivity who continue to consume products containing gluten will cause their intestinal walls to become severely inflamed. This ultimately leads to Leaky Gut Syndrome and results in an inability to absorb nutrients from the food you eat.
Lack of nutrient absorption also leads to a host of other diseases, rashes, and hair loss. With the decrease of gluten, the affected person’s gut health stabilises.
4. Adequate Gluten-Free Replacements
It used to be that once you cut something from your diet, you no longer consumed it in any form. That often leads to cravings. But fortunately, there are a whole variety of gluten-free variants to replace the products that you’ve given up.
There are a whole variety of gluten-free products available. Some of these include gluten-free beer, cakes and pasta. The most popular of these is undoubtedly the gluten-free beer!
When you’re adopting a gluten-free eating plan it becomes necessary to scrutinize all food labels until you have an idea of which types of food contain little or zero gluten.
5. Improves General Well-Being
Many people who have adopted a gluten-free lifestyle have also reported other improvements to their general health. One of the most significant changes have been the reduction of eczema, rashes and psoriasis.
When the gluten is removed from your diet, you’ll also start seeing a significant improvement in previous nutritional deficiencies. Removing these types of deficiencies from your system can also increase hair density and texture.
The Advantages of a Gluten-free Diet
There are several health benefits to adopting a gluten-free eating plan. Some of them are listed below:
- Improved energy levels: Gluten sensitivity often results in chronic fatigue. This is because damaged intestines prevent the absorption of nutrients like iron. The lack of iron causes severe fatigue and constant exhaustion. Switching to a gluten-free diet eliminates this and increases energy levels.
- Eliminates bloating: People suffering from gluten intolerance are likely to suffer from excessive gas and bloating, especially after consuming foods that contain gluten. Taking the gluten out of your diet will ease digestive stress and reduce bloating.
- Reduces the frequency of headaches: People suffering from Celiac disease or gluten intolerance are more likely to experience severe migraine-type headaches. A reduction in gluten has also shown a decrease in headaches in people with Celiac disease.
- Promotes healthy weight gain: Many nutritional deficiencies often lead to severe and uncontrolled weight loss. Sometimes it can be difficult to get to the root of the problem if the gluten allergy isn’t identified. Once it’s regulated, weight can easily be regulated.
- Decreased depression: Celiac sufferers are more likely to suffer from bouts of depression. Research has shown that adopting a gluten-free eating plan can decrease ongoing depression. This goes a long way toward increasing a person’s quality of life.
Gluten-free might seem like just a fad. However, for some people suffering from Celiac disease or gluten allergies, eliminating gluten products has made all the difference to their quality of living.
People without allergies, who simply want to increase their energy levels or regulate their weight will also benefit from a gluten-free eating plan! Improving your health can be as easy as taking the gluten out of your diet!