If you have had issues with bloating, diarrhea, nausea or headaches after eating food made from wheat, then most likely you are gluten intolerant. Gluten is a protein component that is present in wheat and other grains and is the cause of such health problems to many people. For most of those diagnosed with this intolerance, a strict gluten free diet is prescribed. However, this article is about the current craze about going gluten free to seek “better health”. Does it really work? Are there any risks?
Some people tend to believe that there are immense health benefits when they go gluten-free. This includes the belief of losing weight with this diet. A gluten-free diet to most often means no eating of breads, cakes, cookies, and other beverages that have got strains of barley and rye. Simply taking no wheat at all! A gluten-free diet has often been associated with celebrities who claim to look better after going on the diet 100%. The craze has caught up with us and has become immensely popular. One thing that is for sure, is that simply avoiding gluten is not a remedy for losing weight faster. However, it eliminates bloating of the stomach especially in women thus “reducing the pot belly”. Yes! The reason you may be thinking you have a belly could be that you eat lots of processed wheat! (But not for all women/men) A gluten-free diet for most means cutting down all wheat products in the diet. Although these may be subsidized using other foods such as rice, practicing this diet means that you lack most of the other nutrients that are present in wheat products. Gluten, however, can also be found in other food components like cereals, which means that you might not quite be eliminating the “culprit” of your weight gain.
Gluten-free diet is thus an important way to fight gluten-intolerance. However, for a normal person, I advise that you avoid processed wheat products without wholly dismissing wheat since it’s an essential source of fibre in your diet.
So if you are just about to join the gluten craze, assess your dietary habits, it could be that your weight gain is as a result of a totally different issue. Consult your doctor and nutritionist for a better diagnosis!