For some time it has become quite fashionable to switch to a gluten-free diet. For some it is a guarantee of well-being and loss of a few pounds, for others it is associated with the development of deficiencies and general weakening of the body. When should we give up gluten and is it safe to do so without medical consultation?
What is gluten and where does it occur?
Gluten is a spare protein found in some cereals, such as wheat, barley and rye. It is also found in semolina, spelt and bulgur. For this reason, in a natural effort to eliminate gluten, we should forget about white bread, grain products, as well as cakes and pastries of all kinds, unless they have been labeled gluten-free.
Is gluten fattening?
It is often the case that after changing to a gluten-free diet, we lose weight. Does this mean that by eliminating it, we will magically lose weight? Not necessarily. It’s just that it’s usually the case that gluten appears in unhealthy, usually high-calorie products, such as fast food. By eliminating wheat flour, we have to forget about pizza, kebabs, donuts, white bread, pasta or burgers, which obviously affects our weight.
When should we give up gluten?
We often decide to give up gluten when we develop all sorts of worrisome symptoms, such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating or lack of energy despite having eaten. However, it turns out that there may be more reasons causing these symptoms, so first of all, before you decide to eliminate gluten, you should consult a specialist. Of course, as a result of tests, it may turn out that we suffer from a dangerous immune disease celiac disease or a gluten allergy. Then the safest thing to do is to establish a further treatment plan and necessary dietary changes with your doctor and nutritionist. Self-imposed gluten withdrawal may improve our well-being and weight loss, but without a medical diagnosis you may unnecessarily expose your body to deficiencies and slow cachexia. Incompetently eliminating gluten and replacing it with gluten-free products, without including other nutrients in your diet to continue to function properly, can even end in anemia.
Giving up gluten is becoming an increasingly popular trend to give us more energy while losing weight. Unfortunately, often the change is not dictated by medical reasons, but by fashion precisely. A significant number of people do not have any problems with digestion or tolerance of gluten, so if we want to improve our quality of life, it is enough if we introduce more vegetables and fruits into our diet, or give up highly processed products.
Introducing a gluten-free diet involves strict abstinence from gluten-containing products, which often involves preparing meals ourselves, giving up eating out, and higher grocery shopping costs. What’s more, the need for this diet also requires commitment from our loved ones, not just our own. However, if the need arose, it will allow us to maintain our health, feel better, and avoid many dangerous complications.
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