Gluten is a collective term that refers to various types of proteins found in grains, including wheat, barley, rye. Gluten is basically an umbrella term that refers to a family of proteins called prolamins (found in wheat), and these proteins are resistant to digestion.
Gluten proteins like glutenin and gliadin are highly elastic and hence used to make bread and other baked foods. Gluten-containing foods and grains make up a large portion of modern-day diets.
How does gluten cause trouble?
People with celiac disease (an auto-immune disease) cannot tolerate gluten, not even small amounts. Just 50 mg of the protein can interfere with the absorption of nutrients from food, causing health problems like osteoporosis, infertility, nerve damage, seizures.
A similar condition called non-celiac gluten sensitivity causes symptoms similar to celiac disease, but without intestinal damage.
Is gluten good or bad for you?
The answer depends on your health. People with gluten intolerance should consider eating a diet free of gluten as a healthy option. However, going gluten-free has become the biggest health trend, and people believe it to be a better option for losing weight, managing gut disorders, etc. Gluten is not bad for all; it also has certain health benefits.
Gluten acts as a critical source of complex carbohydrates required in a balanced diet.
Lowers risk of type 2 diabetes
Decreases the risk of heart disease
Reduces the risk of colorectal cancer
Avoids excess calories
Considering the gluten-free diet
Though there are various benefits of gluten, there are theories that suggest that human beings may not be able to handle gluten. Also, a gluten-free diet offers multiple benefits like-
Avoiding processed foods
Help cut extra calories, sugar, and unhealthy fat
Promote health and well-being
These foods are naturally gluten-free-
Beans, seeds, nuts (natural, unprocessed form)
Fresh meat, poultry, and fish (not marinated, breaded or batter-coated)
Fruits and vegetables
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