Article written by visiting blogger Dr. Nikola Djordjevic
Over the past few decades, the trend of excluding gluten from diets has become extremely popular with millions of people around the world adopting this way of life. Some do so without being fully aware of all the information regarding gluten, and whether gluten exclusion from their diet would actually impact their health positively.
A gluten-free diet can provide some benefits to the overall health of most individuals, but before we come to these advantages, let’s start with the basics – what is gluten anyway? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and triticale and it derives its name from the glue-like characteristics of wet dough. It helps food retain its shape, so it is often used, and not just in the food industry. It is interesting to note that gluten can even find its way into lipsticks, shampoos, and envelope labels.
Gluten can also be found in a wide range of foods such as bread, baked foods, soups, pasta, cereals, and oats. Avoiding these foods does not mean you’ve effectively eliminated gluten from your diet as the protein can be found in many products, some of which include salad dressings, milkshakes, beer, brewer’s yeast, food colouring, malt extracts, and sauces.
It is imperative for people with celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergies to note the hidden sources of gluten. Some of the symptoms they might experience on consuming gluten include bloating, abdominal pains, general tiredness and fatigue, diarrhea, headaches, skin reactions, constipation, anxiety, and depression.
Some of the benefits of a gluten-free diet include easier digestion, weight loss, improved metabolism, and nutrient absorption. However, excluding gluten from your diet – for those who are not intolerant to it – is not without risks because this can lead to a number of nutritional deficiencies. These can include inadequate levels of iron, calcium, fiber, folate, niacin, and thiamin in the diet.
What foods should you avoid and what should you eat if you are gluten-intolerant? Which food alternatives are available, where can you buy them, and which top brands offer the best gluten-free products?You’ll find answers to all of these questions and more in the following infographic brought to you by MedAlertHelp.
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