Gluten-Free Diet- Advantages and Dangers
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Gluten-Free Diet- Advantages and Dangers

A gluten-free diet for a healthy person over a long period can result in nutritional deficiency

Gluten-Free Diet- Advantages and Dangers

Many people these days are going ‘Gluten Free' for various reasons. While some see it as a way to lose weight, some think it would make them more healthy. A gluten-free diet is a diet plan that strictly excludes all the food items containing gluten. Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in wheat, barley and oats. However, there is a lot of confusion and rumours about a gluten-free diet.

According to Dr Vaishali Verma, dietitian and diabetes educator an ideal healthy person who is consuming regular food made at home does not need to go gluten-free. Moreover, a gluten-free diet is not healthy for children. This could restrict the child's development at a growing age. Says she, "Many people consume an unhealthy diet made up of unhealthy gluten items. Some of them are burgers, and pizzas, composed of wheat or refined flour. Excessive consumption of gluten can lead to obesity, bloating and acidity. Thus, to get rid of such problems, people choose to go gluten-free for a limited time." As per her, a gluten-free diet is good for health but one should consider for how long it is being followed. However, a gluten-free diet for a healthy person over a long period can result in nutritional deficiency.

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There are certain conditions where people are suggested a gluten-free diet. Dr Vaishali says, “Celiac disease is one of them, a person with the same disease is allergic to gluten. Diabetes, obesity, and inflammatory bowel syndrome are some of the conditions where a gluten-free diet can be suggested."

People who adopt a gluten-free diet often lose weight. This is usually because they also cut out a lot of processed foods and refined carbohydrates that contain gluten. If you stop eating gluten to lose weight, it’s important to watch your portion sizes, get regular exercise and eat plenty of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.

If you cut all gluten out of your diet, there’s a risk that you could miss out on nutritious whole grains, fibre and micronutrients. Therefore, Dr Vaishali says it is mandatory to take a nutritionist's advice if going gluten-free. Below listed are the food items you can consume on a gluten free diet- 

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Beans, seeds, legumes and nuts in their natural, unprocessed forms
  • Eggs
  • Most low-fat dairy products
  • Flax
  • Millet
  • Soya