Is It a Craze or Is Gluten Bad for You?


Gluten is an umbrella term for certain protein group found in cereal grains, like wheat. These proteins are what allows the dough to stick together, to be elastic and capable of being formed in many shapes.

Recently, gluten-free products have taken over the world and have become usual in many households. Usually, gluten-free alternatives are more expensive, but... Gluten is bad for you and your health is more valuable than saving money, right? Well, things are a little bit more complicated.

Do All People Have to Avoid Gluten?   

The short answer is no. Gluten-free products can only cause problems for certain people with existing medical conditions. The research right now is just not significant enough to draw such drastic conclusions as "gluten is bad for everyone". Nonetheless, it is advisable to experiment with your diet. Maybe you have one of those conditions which we will mention soon, or maybe your body just functions better without gluten in your diet.     

Wheat Allergy     

If you have a wheat allergy, your immune system is destined to react abnormally to wheat products and certain proteins in wheat. It means that you should avoid all products with wheat, as symptoms can range from mild inconveniences to life-threatening. To people who suffer from a wheat allergy, it is uncommon to experience anaphylaxis shock after ingesting a wheat product. That being said, most of us have wheat daily, so chances that you have wheat allergy with life-threatening risk is low, as you should have already experienced it.    

In spite of that, you might have a wheat allergy and ingesting wheat might cause slight problems breathing, a headache or nausea. You might get those symptoms but attribute them to any problems, so it is important to get tested for wheat allergy and know for sure if you can eat wheat.    

Celiac Disease    

This is the disease which is most commonly associated with gluten. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease. If you suffer from celiac disease, ingesting gluten causes inflammation throughout your body, mainly in the small intestine. It, in turn, causes damage to the lining of your small intestine, which might result in diarrhea and stomach ache. In addition, full-body inflammation can cause brain-fog, depression and weaken your immune system.     

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS)    

In case you are sure that you have neither wheat allergy nor celiac disease, but still suffer adverse effects from eating gluten, you might have NCGS. It is a condition when a person is sensitive to gluten despite obvious causes. Reasons for non-celiac gluten sensitivity is not known and for that reason cannot be easily treated. If you experience brain fog, drop in energy, abnormal bowel movement or other unpleasant symptoms after eating gluten, you might have NCGS and it is advisable that you go on a gluten-free diet.    

Final Words    

So, is gluten-free a craze or is gluten bad for you? In brief, if you have a wheat allergy or a celiac disease, gluten-free is the way to go. Otherwise, if you are happy after your tea and toast breakfast and do not feel any worse, avoiding gluten will not make you any healthier.

Remember, Mayfair we care.

Gluten Free Diet: Is it Just a Fashion Fad or There Is Something More?

It’s often rare for a serious medical condition to spark a dieting fad. However, such is the case with the latest gluten-free craze that has got a good majority ditching all gluten containing foods.

In fact, the gluten free diet market is booming and is estimated to be worth over 200 million pounds.

So what’s this entire craze about? Is there scientific evidence behind this hype?

First things first, let’s get some facts on the gluten-free diet.

Over the past years, gluten has been getting a bad reputation due to its serious complications especially in people with autoimmune disorders such as Celiac Disease as well as those with gluten intolerance and gluten insensitivity.

People afflicted with Celiac Disease experience autoimmune responses after ingesting gluten. Symptoms include stomach pain, bloating, excessive gas, constipation, nausea diarrhoea, increased or decreased appetite, anaemia, depression joint pain, including others.

Those with gluten intolerance and sensitivity can also face similar symptoms.

This means that people with these conditions should not eat foods containing gluten such as bread and pasta.

Does a Gluten-Free Diet Have Direct Effect on Your Health?

Before you stop eating bread, pasta, and cereals, you might want to know whether a gluten-free diet really has a direct effect on your health.

If you have not been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity, a gluten-free diet may not have a direct effect on your health at all.

In other words, removing gluten from your diet will be no healthier than eating food containing gluten.

However, there is a possibility of obtaining certain benefits but indirectly.

Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of a gluten-free diet.

Gluten-Free Diet Pros

Gluten-Free Diet and Weight Loss

The truth is, many foods that are processed contain a lot of gluten and unhealthy carbohydrates and are mainly found in bread products like doughnuts and pastries. They also contain lots of unhealthy oils, chemicals, sugar, artificial flavours, and preservatives.

Ideally, this makes gluten containing foods unhealthy, and leads to weight gain in many people.

Most gluten-free foods on the other hand may help promote healthy weight loss especially if you consume a balanced diet containing essential carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Improved Digestive Health

As stated earlier, most processed foods contain gluten and large amounts of sugar.

Processed foods in general cause various stomach complications such as bloating and excessive acidity, which all interfere with the digestion process.

By eliminating gluten from your diet, you will be promoting good digestive health.

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease and Other Conditions

By going gluten-free, it means that high-fat and high-sugar foods such as doughnuts and pastries would be completely off limits.

This would greatly reduce your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and other serious dietary conditions like diabetes.

Gluten-Free Diet Cons

You don’t receive enough fibre.

By cutting gluten from your diet, you are also reducing your intake of whole grains such as wheat, which is a key source of fibre and something that most of us don’t get enough of.

Your diet will lack essential nutrients.

A gluten free diet contain less of the essential nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, selenium and folate.

Supplements.

In many cases of people on gluten free diets it is sensible to take nutritional supplements but always check with your doctor first.

Expensive and restricting.

Most gluten free foods are more expensive than regular alternatives and in spite of their growing popularity, there is still a relatively narrow range of options in the supermarkets. Eating out can be difficult as well and it is always best to phone in advance to check that gluten free meals are on the menu.

Conclusion

While a gluten-free diet could be considered to be fashionable in many cases apart from diagnosed medical need, evidence would suggest that there are many health benefits.

However, please remember that while eliminating or reducing your gluten intake may have a positive impact on your health; this will only be true if you follow a healthy, well-balanced diet.

And remember, Mayfair Cares.