Gluten is the latest buzz word floating around the health and fitness industry.
I’m sure that you’ve heard of it and I’m certain that you’ve probably seen the label “Gluten-Free” on food packages claiming they are healthier alternatives.
So two questions remain, is it really healthier and ultimately, is gluten making you fatter?
Many people are intolerant to gluten (celiacs) and more and more people are finding out they are sensitive to gluten.
Symptoms can include bloating, fatigue, food malabsorption, constipation, or diarrhea just to name a few.
So is gluten-free the answer to better health?
First of all what is it? Gluten is simply a protein that gives dough its elasticity.
It is mostly found in wheat, but it’s also found in rye, spelt, barley, and oats.
It’s also added in many products such as ready-made soups, soy sauce, candies, cold cuts, various low-fat and fat-free products, and refined grain products like bread, pizza crust, pasta, cookies and pastries.
When a person cuts out these types of processed food-products from their diet, they are essentially cutting out refined carbohydrates, which lead to blood sugar spikes and eventually weight gain.
In that regard, going gluten-free may help you lose weight.
However, beware of food labels and clever marketing.
A gluten-free cookie does not make it healthier for you nor is it a direct equation to weight loss.
Instead, replace gluten-containing foods with healthy alternatives like vegetables and other whole foods.
Here is a list of some naturally gluten-free grains and seeds to choose from if you suffer from gluten irritations:
- Brown Rice
- Organic Corn (non GMO)
- Flax seed
Oats, although they contain gluten, do not contain gliadin, which is the subset of gluten that can irritate the intestine and cause allergic reactions in some people.
If after being off all grains you feel much better, it’s worth reintroducing oats to see what happens.
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