Gluten has become very trendy since a few years. It’s almost as if you cannot eat healthy without being “gluten free”.
But do you really know what gluten is?
Gluten is actually a protein, you can find inside grains such as wheat, oats, barley or rye. It’s a key component of bread, which is responsible for the elasticity of the dough.
So why so many people tend to dislike gluten if it’s only a protein?
Gluten is making some people sick (around 1% of the population). Symptoms are : stomach ache, flatulence, poor digestion, loose stools, tiredness, scratchy skin, irritation, anxiety or depression … Coeliac disease is the name of the allergy to gluten. After decades of chronic inflammatory reactions, the small bowel start to fail to do is job : absorption of nutrients. Failing to absorb nutrients expose you to a lot of health issues such as anemia, osteoporosis, cancer, abnormal bleeding and more.
How do you know you are allergic to gluten?
The only way to find out if you are gluten intolerant is a blood test. You can also try for a few weeks a diet without gluten and see for yourself if you feel any difference.
If you start to feel better this could mean several things :
– You are intolerant to gluten : so by avoiding gluten foods you feel better. To confirm this intolerance, you should go to the doctor and ask for a blood test.
– You did avoid all the food that contains gluten (Pizza, pasta, bread & burger…) and you feel better. But anyone who is not suffering from coeliac disease would feel better when avoiding this food groups. And when you think about it gluten is a component of a lot of junk food. If you replace all this junk food by vegetables and fruits for example, this new diet will surely make you feel healthier.
Don’t eat gluten free because you have been seduced by a trend or good marketing. If you are not gluten intolerant there is no scientific proof that eating gluten free will give you better health.