Prior to getting into the crux of the matter, it is important to understand, what actually gluten is. It is basically a type of protein that is found extensively in barley, wheat, and rye. In other words, it is that ingredient for instance, that gives a bread loaf its elastic property that which makes the bread ‘chewy’.
Being indigestible, the molecules make their way to the linings of the intestines thereby causing the common celiac disease as the linings of the intestines get inflamed. In due course people suffering from celiac disease are unable to make use of the essential nutrients contained in food as the intestinal walls lose their ability to absorb these nutrients. And this is caused by gluten. As such, for people suffering from celiac disease, a gluten free diet plan can be of immense help.
Until a couple of years ago, finding food items that are devoid of gluten was challenging, however, these days, you will find that most of the departmental stores sell products that are gluten free. There are many gluten free products that sell at a higher price as compared to food items that contain this protein.
Gluten free diet – Is the hype worth
On the basis of surveys and studies conducted worldwide, there are conflicting concepts about gluten. While majority of the people are of the opinion that gluten is harmful for their health, there are few studies that indicate that gluten is being intentionally referred to as a “dietary villain”. But the former opinion usually prevails most of the time.
Role of gluten in non celiac disease individuals
What role does gluten play in individuals that do not suffer from celiac disease? Research and extensive studies have revealed that even in individuals that do not complain of the symptoms of this disease, anomalous gut function, and the common IBS or Irritable Bowel Syndrome has been reported in majority of these individuals. In fact, the most upsetting was the effects of gluten on the intestinal linings that deprive a healthy individual of the nutrients he requires as gluten causes inflammation, which in turn causes mal absorption of nutrients. In the long run, this can be devastating and the individual might suffer from nutrient deficiency.
Will the diet deprive you of essential nutrients?
Another aspect that has been highlighted regarding gluten free diet is that, this type of diet plan can lead to deficiency of niacin, thiamine, iron, calcium, and folate. Also, many gluten free products are high in calorie content, which can in turn lead to weight gain.
While the debate goes on, it may be mentioned that while a gluten free diet is helpful for one person, it can be detrimental for another. This is because metabolism and body functions differ from one individual to another.
In a nut shell, prior to embarking upon a different diet plan that is not of the regular nature, it is best to consult a medical practitioner as he is the best person to judge whether a particular type of diet will be beneficial for you in the long run. However, an important factor that ought to be kept in mind is that there are no quick fixes as far as diets are concerned and the one that claims to give you instant results may drive you to disaster!