A popular question I get asked is if gluten is bad for you and if it should be cut out of your diet! Read below to find out exactly what gluten is and why it is cut out of diets.
What Exactly Gluten Is:
Gluten is a protein found in the grains wheat, barley, and rye. Most of us unknowingly love it!! Gluten gives our favorite foods that special touch: It makes pizza dough stretchy, gives bread its spongy texture, and is used to thicken sauces and soups.
Gluten-free eating does help a genuine health problem. To people with a chronic digestive disorder called celiac disease, gluten is truly evil. Their bodies regard even a tiny crumb of it as a malicious invader and mount an immune response, says Alessio Fasano, M.D., medical director of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research in Baltimore.
The problem is, this immune reaction ends up damaging the small intestine, which causes both great gastrointestinal distress and nutritional deficiencies. If this problem is untreated, these responses can then lead to intestinal cancers as well as complications such as infertility and osteoporosis.
And then there’s the idea that a gluten-free existence is the ticket to speedy weight loss. But, says Mark DeMeo, M.D., director of gastroenterology and nutrition at the Adult Celiac Disease Program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, “there’s nothing magical about a gluten-free diet that’s going to help you lose weight.” Cutting out gluten is great if you are trying to cut out porcessed foods which in turn is healthier but it won’t lead you to much weight loss. In fact, research suggests that those who forgo gluten may be more likely to miss out on important nutrients such as iron, B vitamins, and fiber.
Seven Signs of Gluten Sensitivity
More than 2.5 million people may have celiac disease, yet only an estimated 150,000 have been diagnosed. That’s because people can be asymptomatic for years, and the symptoms of celiac disease can also overlap with other medical problems, so it often confuses both patients and doctors alike. If you think you are allergic don’t hesitate to go find out!!
Here are some common problems:
> Chronic diarrhea or constipation
> Abdominal pain and bloating
> Unexplained weight loss
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