Many people today are opting to go gluten-free. Some because they want to improve their health, while others have too because they don’t have a choice. No matter the reason, deciding to go gluten-free is a great way for you to improve your health.
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Gluten-free diets have become so popular in recent years because they can improve your health as well as decreasing the risk of celiac disease (gluten-sensitive enteropathy). People who cannot consume gluten often have an intolerance and don’t mind as there are many substitute foods to gluten-free ones.
Many diet fads have come and gone over the years, but gluten-free has the wave and shouldn’t and hopefully won’t die in the coming years.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is the term used for proteins found in grains, wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten is used as the substance that holds grains together and allows it to keep its shape.
This means natural foods containing grains will contain gluten. Cross-contaminated and processed foods such as meat, cheese, and table sauces also can potentially contain gluten.
Gluten can be found in:
- Pastry dough
- Baked goods
- Soy sauce
- Processed deli meats
- Processed cheese
- Processed snacks
- Fried foods
- Artificial Sweeteners
The Health Benefits of Going Gluten-Free
1. Consume less processed foods
Starting a gluten-free diet automatically means you will be cutting most, if not all, processed foods. The harm in processed foods is the added processed chemicals and harmful additives the body doesn’t need. Processed foods also mean that certain ingredients are being added to your body that you may not even be aware of.
By cutting gluten out of your dietary system, your body will enjoy an intake of fresh and organic foods. This means you are getting the best quality of important nutrients as possible.
This also promotes a stronger and well protected immune system. A gluten-free diet leads to better quality eating, and a better quality diet will lead to better general health and improved lifestyle.
2. Better management of celiac disease
This benefit is better suited for those who already have celiac disease. For people who don’t, you need to be aware as celiac disease can be developed at any age. If you already have been diagnosed with celiac disease, a gluten-free diet is mandatory.
By cutting gluten from your diet, you allow the small intestine to heal, giving it the chance to absorb nutrient intake better and reduce the risk of other complications. For these individuals, even trace amounts of gluten can cause significant harm.
People with celiac disease also have the potential to develop other diseases and health complications such as calcium and/or iron-deficiency infertility, osteoporosis or neurological problems that can potentially lead to anxiety or depression. For people who don’t have celiac disease, avoiding gluten in your diet can prevent you from contracting the disease in the future.
3. You’ll have more energy
Gluten-free diets won’t only help you feel better on the inside, but they can also significantly improve your health on the outside. This means that you can feel the better quality and increased energy throughout your day. Foods that contain gluten can make you feel tired, fatigued or even sleepy.
This is because processed foods may include additives that will make you feel bloated and full. This is also because most gluten-containing foods have high amounts of carbohydrates. When carbohydrates are not used as energy in the form of exercise, it becomes stored as fat.
This ends up making you feel heavier as well as being fatigued quicker. By cutting gluten from your diet, your body will feel less tired as you will be consuming more natural foods that contain natural sugars and nutrients that are vital for brain and body functioning. A lifestyle that has more energy without afterburn leads to a healthier and happier life.
4. Helps promote weight loss
Before you consider taking a gluten-free approach to eat for weight loss, ask yourself why do you need to lose weight and assess what you’re trying to achieve. Because cutting gluten from your diet can help you to cut down weight.
However, even though it works, gluten-free diets should be used for other health reasons. Weight loss can be made through different forms of dieting. Weight loss can be the result of a gluten-free diet as cutting grains and wheat such as bread, pasta and dough will mean that you are cutting out processed foods which are dense with carbohydrates.
This means that your carb source will need to come from leafy vegetables and fruits. This change will not only decrease your carbohydrate intake, but it also means you are eating better food. Over time, you will lose weight. With that being said, a gluten-free diet can be seen as a low carbohydrate diet.
Things You Need to Consider Before Going Gluten-free
Going gluten-free means, you will need to sacrifice a lot of food that you would regularly eat. This means having to change eating, shopping and lifestyle habits.
Gluten-free diets can also be more expensive and will require great discipline to stick to. These are only a few things that you need to consider before making the change. For people who already eat gluten, they need to be aware.
There’s nothing wrong with sticking to products that may contain gluten. Going gluten-free isn’t the only way to be healthy. Every diet should be balanced. Junk food will always be bad, but that doesn’t mean it will cause great detriment to your health.
Everything in balanced moderation will lead to a healthy life and body. The same goes for gluten. Cutting it out completely for the rest of your life may not be necessary if you’re already eating and exercising well. With that being said, if you do decide to go gluten-free, you may want to speak with your medical practitioner first as they will know best in regards to approaching new diets.
Gluten-free diets are one of the most important diets you need to speak about with a medical practitioner or dietician as foods that contain gluten may have important nutrients your body needs depending on your health condition or the type of food you eat.
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