Breaking up with bread?
8/9/2016 10:11 AM
Are you a bread head? A roll troll? If your burger has a bun, the gluten conversation probably interests you. So, what is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in barley, rye, some oats and wheat.
Gluten is found in breads, pastas, baked goods and beer. Anything made with whole or enriched wheat flour contains gluten. So, who exactly needs to give up gluten? Unquestionably, anyone who has been diagnosed with celiac disease should strictly follow a gluten-free diet.
Pros and Cons
If you have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, eliminating gluten from your diet will often resolve many symptoms such as inflammation, unintentional weight loss, malabsorption, diarrhea, lethargy, failure to thrive and “foggy brain.”
The gluten-free diet can be very difficult to follow and requires a major change in lifestyle.
Some physicians oppose gluten because our bodies don’t digest it completely. Some research shows that gluten causes inflammation in the intestines, organs and tissues which could lead to osteoporosis, headache, fibromyalgia and joint pain.
Things to Know
If you’re determined to give up gluten, know that it can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Fortified breads and cereals have become a good source of B vitamins. Although breads made with white rice, tapioca, and other gluten-free flours are becoming more common, they aren’t always fortified with vitamins. This can be a problem for anyone, but especially pregnant women.
Taking a gluten-free multivitamin-multimineral supplement is a good idea for anyone trying to avoid gluten.
Gluten-free living is often an all or nothing approach. Most people will not find relief by only avoiding a few gluten foods, they will have to completely eliminate gluten from their diet to see true results.
A gluten-free diet does not cause weight loss. True celiac patients will often see weight gain as they are now able to absorb more nutrients.