What is Gluten and Gluten-Free Diet? Foods to be Taken and Avoid
July 12, 2022 | by Yashaswi Pathakamuri | Posted in Diseases
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and other grains. It helps dough to rise and gives bread its chewy texture. It is the main cause of celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that damages the lining of your small intestine when you eat gluten. This can lead to problems absorbing nutrients from food and can cause serious health problems over time if it’s not treated.
It is the primary protein in flour and gives bread its chewy texture. Gluten has been linked to several health issues including celiac disease, gluten ataxia, non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders.
The most common symptoms of celiac disease are abdominal pain, bloating, gas, constipation and diarrhea.
The article provides information about gluten and helpful tips for those who are on a gluten-free diet and want to avoid eating foods with gluten. It also includes some foods that are safe for someone who has celiac disease or wants to go on the diet.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein composite found in the grains wheat, barley and rye. Gluten provides the elasticity that allows dough to rise and keep its shape. It also helps breads to brown when baked as it has an affinity for water.
The word comes from the Latin term meaning “glue.” as it gives flour a sticky consistency when mixed with water.
It is found in foods such as breads, cakes and pasta. Gluten has been shown to cause an immune response in people with celiac disease. Unfortunately, many people feel uncomfortable after eating foods that contain gluten. The most severe reaction is called celiac disease.
Why Gluten Is Bad for Some People?
Some people can’t digest gluten because their bodies don’t produce enough of the enzyme that breaks it down.
For other people who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, eating gluten triggers an autoimmune response in the small intestine that causes damage to the lining of the gut. For them, eating gluten can lead to digestive problems like bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation or abdominal pain. This can lead to symptoms such as weight loss and malnutrition. It can also cause skin rash or eczema, depression and anxiety disorders
Gluten can be bad for some people because it can cause a reaction called celiac disease. Celiac disease causes the body to react to gluten by damaging the small intestine and preventing the body from absorbing nutrients properly.
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestine. The lining of the small intestine is damaged because gluten, a protein found in wheat and other grain products, has entered the body.
The symptoms of celiac disease include chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, weight loss, fatigue, skin rashes, stomach discomfort, bloating, anemia, tiredness and depression
If you are diagnosed with celiac disease you will need to avoid foods that contain gluten for the rest of your life in order to avoid any further damage to your intestines.
Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) was first described in the 1980s and is characterized by symptoms that are similar to those of celiac disease, but without evidence of damage to the small intestine.
NCGS is a food sensitivity that does not have an immune system response. It can be caused by other proteins found in wheat, barley, rye or oats. These proteins are not present in gluten and are called FODMAPs.
The symptoms of NCGS vary from person to person and they may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Foggy brain
- Depression or anxiety
- Skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis
- Tingling numbness in hands and feet
- Muscle cramps; and
- Mood swings
NCGS is becoming more prevalent because of the increase in processed foods. It can arise when gluten, fructose or lactose are present in an individual at high levels and have a large impact on their GI tract leading to all of these symptoms.
What is Gluten-Free Diet?
Gluten-free diets are usually recommended for people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity to help heal their intestines and reduce symptoms such as stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea or constipation.
Gluten-free diets are becoming more popular as people are trying to avoid gluten for various reasons. While some people have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, others avoid it for weight loss or because they think it’s healthier.
Gluten-free diet is a diet that avoids gluten, The reasons for avoiding gluten can be due to an allergy or intolerance to gluten. Gluten-free diet is also used for weight loss as it tends to be low in calories.
Foods to Avoid
Gluten-free alternatives are available for most foods. The gluten-free diet has been shown to reduce the symptoms of celiac disease and other related disorders.
Some people find it difficult to completely avoid gluten but with a bit of experimenting, you might find some options that work for you.
This is because it is found in many common ingredients that are added to foods.
These are the main sources of gluten in the diet:
- Wheat-based foods like wheat bran, wheat flour, spelt, durum, kamut and semolina
- Brewer’s yeast
Some of these foods also may have gluten ingredients added to them.
- Bread- All wheat-based bread.
- Pasta- All wheat-based pasta.
- Cereals– Unless labeled gluten-free.
- Sauces- Soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, marinades, salad dressings.
- Beverages- Beer, flavored alcoholic beverages.
- Baked goods- Cakes, cookies, muffins, pizza, bread crumbs and pastries.
- Snack foods- Candy, muesli bars, crackers, roasted nuts, pre-packaged convenience foods, flavored chips and popcorn.
- Other foods- Durum wheat, broth (unless labeled gluten-free)
Avoiding gluten can be difficult to achieve. Luckily, there is a quick and safe solution – eating unprocessed foods with single ingredients. Otherwise, you should read labels for all of the processed food you’re buying.
Oats are naturally gluten-free. Though they can be compromised when processed in the same factory as wheat-based foods.
Foods to Eat
When people eat gluten they can have an immune response to it which can cause them to experience symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation.
The gluten-free diet might be difficult for some people because there are many foods that contain gluten that are not obvious to those on the diet. There are also many different types of gluten-free products available in grocery stores and health food stores.
If you want to find out if you should go on a gluten-free diet then talk with your doctor or a nutritionist about what your options are.
We can eat a variety of different foods in a gluten free diet. These include rice, corn, potatoes, soybeans and other legumes, quinoa and buckwheat. We can also include fruits, vegetables and nuts in our diet.
These are the basic foods that we can eat when following a gluten-free diet.
- Meats and fish- All meats and fish, except battered or coated meats.
- Eggs- All types of eggs are naturally gluten-free.
- Dairy- Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt are generally dairy-based. They can be either plain or flavored. Non-dairy products have added ingredients like gluten in them so it is important to check the food labels
- Fruits and vegetables- All fruits and vegetables are naturally free of gluten.
- Grains. Quinoa, rice, buckwheat, tapioca, sorghum, corn, millet, amaranth, and oats (if labeled gluten-free).
- Starches- Potatoes, corn, almond meal
- Flours- Corn flour, potato flour, chickpea flour, soy flour, almond flour, coconut flour and tapioca flour.
- Nuts and seeds- All nuts and seeds.
- Spreads and oils- All vegetable oils and butter.
- Herbs and spices- All herbs and spices.
- Beverage- All beverages, except for beer (unless labeled as gluten-free).
Labels provide important information about the food you consume and having a gluten-free diet is an essential part of living a healthy life.
Helpful Tips for Gluten Diet
If you are on a gluten-free diet, it is important to avoid eating any food that contains gluten. These foods include breads, pasta, crackers and cereals. You should also make sure to read labels carefully before buying any food items.
Gluten-free diets are not always easy to follow, but here are some helpful tips for people who want to avoid gluten.
- Always read the label: If a product doesn’t have a label or you’re unsure about something, contact the manufacturer.
- Eat fresh: Always eat fresh produce as much as possible, and choose whole grains over processed grains.
- Hidden gluten: Be careful while choosing sauces and condiments, like soy sauce or salad dressings because they contain hidden gluten.
- Cross-contamination: It can be avoided by using different cutting boards and utensils for gluten-free foods and gluten-containing foods.
- Asking Ingredients: When dining out, ask the waiter what ingredients are in each dish before ordering it.
- Pairing: Pair gluten-free foods with other gluten-free foods.
- Read books: Read books about the food you’re trying to avoid and research what ingredients are in the best substitutes.
- List: Keep a list of safe foods for easy reference
- Bring your own food: If you’re visiting family, take foods like gluten-free bread and pasta with you. This way you won’t feel left out of family meals.
- Plan ahead: If you’re traveling abroad, make sure you research places to eat and shop. Otherwise, plan your diet around plenty of whole, single-ingredient foods like lean meats, vegetables and fruit.
A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes gluten, a protein composite found in wheat and related grains such as barley and rye.
Gluten-free diets are becoming more popular due to their health benefits. They are also beneficial for people with Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disorder caused by gluten ingestion.
Try to focus on less processed, unprocessed foods like whole fruit, vegetables and protein. These provide your body with the retention it needs to keep in good shape. They help reduce feelings of discomfort and illness as well.
A gluten-free diet can have a lot of benefits. For example, it can help ease digestive symptoms, reduce inflammation, boost energy levels and more. Going gluten-free may also result in weight loss.
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