Living Gluten-Free: Is It For You?

Gluten free diet or Gluten-free living is the current trending lifestyle change that many are blindly following. In fact there are numerous department and grocery stores that are now selling gluten-free products. But before considering changing your lifestyle and making it gluten-free living you must first ask yourselves whether it is right for you? Or are you meant to live on a gluten free diet to gain its benefits?

Gluten-free living: Is it really for you? Who needs to live a gluten-free lifestyle following gluten-free diet?

Only a few individuals need to go for gluten-free diet when they are suffering from Celiac disease. This disease is associated to gluten because gluten affects the immune system of the people having this disease causing damage of the small intestine due to inflammation. Not many individuals are aware of this disease and this is the main reason everyone are trying to follow the latest trend of living gluten free.

Gluten is basically a kind of protein typically found in grains like wheat, rye and barley that are major protein sources. Thus when you are willing to compromise on the gluten intake in your diet you must consider the consequences of going gluten free. When you opt for gluten-free diet by omitting foods containing gluten then you are missing on other nutritional aspects of those foods like vitamins and minerals. Thus unless you are diagnosed with Celiac disease there is no need to panic and opt for a gluten free diet and lifestyle.

Determining and diagnosing the Celiac disease

The only two options of determining whether you have Celiac disease or not is to primarily perform a blood test. This is to detect antibodies related to any abnormal immune response by your body. In case, the blood test turns positive, a biopsy of the lining of small intestine is required to confirm both inflammation and the disease. This disease needs to be treated or can be controlled if you have it by going on a gluten-free diet because inflammation of the intestine prevents the intestine to absorb other nutrients as well.

Some people who do not have Celiac disease may also be sensitive to the protein gluten. In such cases try going for a gluten free diet for a period of a month or two and note for any changes. Slowly introduce products with gluten in your diet until your body is able to tolerate the gluten. Though gluten is not necessarily an important protein skipping on gluten free food will cut your mineral and vitamin intake. Thus it is essential to determine whether you have Celiac disease before thinking of living gluten-free.

Gluten-free products lack major nutrients

Gluten-free products usually lack or contain very low amounts of certain important nutrients like Vitamin B, calcium, iron, magnesium, fiber, etc. Thus, when you are living gluten-free lifestyle by including only gluten-free products in your diet you are compromising on these nutrients. It is always advisable to seek your nutritionist or dietician’s advice before you plan to make any changes in your diet.