The gluten free diet has often been publicised as being healthy and a diet that everyone should be following. But is it the right diet for you?
Gluten is found in (wheat, barley, rye and oats). Those who are unlucky enough to be diagnosed with Coeliac Disease like myself MUST follow a strict gluten free diet for life. Coeliac Disease is an autoimmune disorder where the body sees gluten as an invader and attacks itself in an attempt to stop the invasion. If the diet is not followed, the small intestinal villi continue to be destroyed, which impairs the digestion and absorption of nutrients.
While cutting out gluten will not hurt anyone it is not necessary if you are not allergic. A lot of people are intolerant to gluten, in particular wheat, but can eat small amounts of barley, rye and oats without any symptoms. Reducing and eliminating gluten in your diet basically eliminates processed foods.
Foods labelled ‘gluten free’ DOES NOT always mean they are healthy, especially gluten free biscuits, cake mixes and slices as they often contain a lot of sugar, if not more!
I recommend reducing and eliminating wheat from your diet where possible as wheat today is heavily processed and has been genetically modified so much that is hardly resembles the wheat that was eaten 50 years ago. Wheat promotes inflammation in the body, spikes blood glucose levels and has been identified as a leading factor in the development of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cognitive problems, inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis and even cataract development.
Unless you suffer from Coeliac Disease or experience gastrointestinal problems such as; abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation or bloating, small amounts of gluten need not to be feared and can be enjoyed in moderation.
If you suspect you may have Coeliac Disease speak with your doctor of health care practitioner to request a blood test.