If you’re not familiar with the word “gluten,” it refers to a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. A “gluten-free” diet, as the phrase implies, is a diet in which none of the food contains gluten. This means that people who are on a gluten-free diet avoid such foods as bread, cake, beer, pasta, soy sauce, and cookies.
Why would anyone want to give up so many good foods like these? There are a number of reasons why, and here are a few of them.
1. Weight loss
Wheat products are generally high in complex carbohydrates. They are also rich in calories. Foods such as bread, cereals, cookies, pasta, and beer tend to encourage weight gain.
If you’re interested in losing weight without investing a lot of time in cardiovascular exercise, then a gluten-free diet might be one of your best options.
2. Gluten intolerance
Some people have developed an allergic reaction to gluten. This medical condition is known as “the gluten allergy.” As a result, it’s important for them to maintain a gluten-free diet simply to avoid episodes of physical discomfort.
3. Celiac disease
There is a genetically inherited autoimmune disease called celiac disease. People who are stricken with this ailment cannot ingest gluten or it will damage their intestinal lining. For these people, a gluten-free diet is necessary to preserve their lives.
4. Dermatitis herpetiformis
Some people are afflicted with a skin disease called dermatitis herpetiformis. One symptom of this disease is that fluid-filled blisters appear on the body.
Medical researchers believe these blisters form as a result of excessive gluten intake. Obviously, people who have this disease must avoid gluten.
There is evidence that some people who suffer from migraines feel better once they go on a gluten-free diet. It’s possible that many of these people feel better after the switch because they have celiac disease.
Numerous studies have suggested that the severity of autism is directly related to a person’s intake of gluten. Doctors have begun to advise that autistic children be placed on a gluten-free diet.
7. Gluten is usually in processed foods
You’ll usually find gluten in foods that are “processed.” This refers to when the ingredients are basically assembled for you, and the cooking has, for the most part, already been completed. One problem with processed foods is that they also contain unnecessary chemicals, artificial flavors, and preservatives.
People who follow a gluten-free diet usually eat fruits and vegetables in abundance to make up for the loss of starchy foods. As a result, they do not consume so much of the man-made products that are typically found in processed foods. In other words, their diets are more natural.
8. Reduced risk of various diseases
A gluten-free diet can reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. It can also reduce your risk of diabetes if you have gluten intolerance. Because gluten-free foods tend to contain plentiful antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, you’ll also find your body is better equipped to fight germs and viruses.
If you’re interest in starting a gluten-free diet, it’s not that difficult to find appropriate foods. There are numerous online resources to help you locate a broad selection of delicious foods, suited to your taste, which will enable you to begin a healthy, gluten-free regimen.