Have you been thinking of going on a gluten-free diet, but are not sure what it’s all about? Well, we’re here to answer all your queries. Read on to know more.
Recent years have seen a huge surge in the popularity of gluten-free diets. What once began as a diet for patients with celiac disease and gluten intolerance is now adopted by celebrities and athletes alike. Several celebrities and athletes have vouched for the benefits they got from following a gluten-free diet.
If you have been wondering about adopting a gluten-free diet: be it because you were diagnosed with a gluten allergy or related diseases or because you heard your favorite celebrity talk about it, we have you covered. In this blog we will be discussing everything there is to know about a gluten-free diet.
What is a ‘gluten-free diet'?
In order to understand what a ‘gluten-free diet’ is, we first need to develop an understanding of what ‘gluten’ is. Gluten is a binding agent, a type of protein, present in most grains. The most popular sources of gluten are wheat, barley, and rye.
Now that we know what ‘gluten’ is, understanding what a ‘gluten-free diet’ is, becomes much easier. As the name suggests, a gluten-free diet is a diet that contains no glutenous products. It excludes any and all food products that contain gluten and only relies on gluten-free food products.
It is a common misconception that eating gluten-free means going off all carbs. Many foods that are rich in carbohydrates, like potatoes, quinoa, rice, beans, etc, do not contain gluten.
What we can and cannot eat on a gluten-free diet?
| Foods To Eat
||Foods To Avoid
All citrus fruits
- Preserved Fruits may contain additives with gluten
- Canned fruits may contain sauces with gluten
- Dry fruits with some artificial sweetening might contain gluten
All cruciferous vegetables
All leafy greens
Dried vegetables might have additives with gluten
Pre-chopped vegetables might have additives with gluten
Picked Vegetables may also have added gluten in their preservatives
Nuts and seeds
Unflavored soy foods
Meat with sauces, dressings, or seasonings
Wheat-based soy sauce
Gluten-free diet benefits and risks
Like every other diet out there, even gluten-free diets come with their sets of pros and cons.
1. Gluten-free diet benefits
Reduces chronic inflammation in patients of celiac disease: Inflammation is the body's natural way of dealing with infections. However, sometimes in people suffering from autoimmune diseases, this inflammation lasts for days, weeks, or even months. Patients of celiac disease suffer from this chronic inflammation. A gluten-free diet helps in bringing down chronic inflammation and treat gut damage caused due to it.
Can aid in weight loss: Weight loss is one of the many byproducts of a gluten-free diet. This is because most junk foods are eliminated from a gluten-free diet. Most junk foods in the market are glutenous. These are replaced by fruits and vegetables, and other low-calorie and gluten-free snacks.
Might boost energy: Patients of celiac disease often suffer from a lot of nutritional deficiencies, thanks to the poor absorption of nutrients due to an inflamed gut. Going gluten-free can heal your gut, aid in better absorption of nutrients, and boost your energy levels.
2. Gluten-free diet risks
It’s not inexpensive: Gluten-free isn’t exactly very budget-friendly. This is because gluten-free food items are roughly two-and-a-half times more expensive. Gluten-free food items cost way more in manufacturing as they have to pass through several tests to qualify as fit for consumption. We suggest sticking to single-ingredient food items like fruits and vegetables rather than going all out if you’re on a budget.
Can cause constipation: Constipation is one of the most common side effects of a gluten-free diet. This is because most whole grains, which are incredibly rich in fiber, are eliminated from the diet. This can cause trouble with bowel movement and cause constipation. Fret not, for this doesn’t last long. Include lots of vegetable salads and fruits in your diet to make up for the fiber intake.
Now you know everything that you need to know about a gluten-free diet. Making a gluten-free diet plan for beginners can be tough. However, it’s all about learning about the correct nutrition for yourself. So we hope this blog post helped you figure out at least a bit of it.