When someone asks what could be the best diet for an individual, there are several names that come to my mind, each of which caters to different individual macro requirements (i.e., protein, fats, and carbs). But, when somebody asks “how to define what is the best diet,” I would certainly choose to say the best diet is the one that you can adhere to over a long period of time, and which helps reach your goals. Now, while zeroing in on the best diet, most of us have a rather common doubt – should we or should we not opt for ‘gluten’? Do a Google search, and you’ll be mindboggled by how many facts and figures on gluten there are! To make it easy for you, in this article I’ve given a simplified approach to this rather poorly understood topic called Gluten.
What is gluten and gluten intolerance?
Gluten is the main storage protein found in foods like wheat, rye, and barley, and one that can cause adverse reactions in people with gluten related disorders. People who possess non celiac gluten sensitivity or celiac disease are found to have symptoms mostly of indigestion, including regular abdominal pains, chronic constipation or diarrhea, regular joint pain, etc. So, if you have been having foods rich in gluten like breads, pastas, and other processed items made out of gluten-containing flours (like wheat flour) for quite a long time, and face similar issues regularly, then it’s not at all a bad idea to get the tests done to determine gluten intolerance.
There a lot that has gone into building up a negative buzz around ‘gluten’ these days. One of the foremost reasons is that only lately people have been getting tested for gluten intolerance, and as a result, the health circuit is abuzz with these surveys and results! And what all this hype and hearsay generates is a widespread ‘anti-gluten’ panic, causing almost all people to switch to low- or non-gluten alternatives even without any need to do so.
Following this tradition of fad-fanaticism without logic, there has even been a misconception that removing gluten from the diet will aid the weight loss process! Now before we jump the guns any further and start making a devil out of gluten, let me tell you conclusively that adding or subtracting gluten from your diet alone will not have an impact on your weight. Removing gluten would definitely be a healthier option for people with gluten related disorders, but saying that it is the best dietary approach even for the ones not going through such ailments – that remains a notion that needs to be researched more.
Still in doubt?? Checkout a few more facts below, and a ‘to do’ list that you could follow:
- Having a gluten free diet won’t aid the weight loss or fat loss process, your overall nutrition and the activity levels matter.
- If you have been constantly following the first point, and are happy with your food routine of not including gluten-rich food items on a regular basis, then having it occasionally does not make much of a difference to your body.
- If you have been continuously taking food items rich in gluten, and constantly suffer from the symptoms mentioned earlier, then getting a test done should be a better move rather than simply cutting it down, as there could be a possibility of other factors being involved here.
- Each of us come with a different background and history of eating habits, knowing what works for you and what doesn’t will likely take a long while. One should definitely keep a close watch on his/her eating habits, along with the body’s responses, as drawing a self-conclusion might take some time.
- When you are trying to fix the things, it’s always good to be strict and choose the better food (wholesome) sources. Slowly, one could experiment and add/remove the items.
So, unless you’re gluten intolerant, there’s no scientific evidence that shows that going gluten-free will have direct significant health and weight loss benefits. The choice is yours to make, but make sure it is an informed one, not a blind one!
Author credits – Shanu Shashank