With all the buzz in recent decades around gluten-free diets and the potential dangers of gluten, there’s an increasing amount of attention given to facts and myths of gluten-free diets. Sifting through all of the research, blogs, and medical journals can leave you dizzy and more confused than when you had just started looking into gluten.
Here are five grains of truth about gluten-free diets:
Poor Quality Information is Everywhere
A cursory glance at online blogs and articles regarding gluten will demonstrate how much of a minefield of disinformation that’s out there. Unfortunately, much of what’s claimed to be medicine is, in fact, merely opinion at best. Therefore, if you’d like to have a medical opinion regarding gluten, it’s best to contact your local GP or a dietician.
At Gluten Free 4 U, we advocate for gluten-free diets, but we do realise that the debate on whether gluten is good or bad and in which context is best left to medical professionals.
Gluten is Found in Nearly Everything
Coeliac Australia and other reputable sources of information on gluten, gluten-free diets, gluten intolerance, and Coeliac disease have published information and lists of foods containing gluten. The fact of the matter is that gluten is found in nearly every type of food commonly eaten, so going on a gluten-free diet can be quite a challenge for most.
Here are some of the more common foods containing gluten:
- Baked goods
- Sauces and gravies
There are plenty of other foods containing gluten, but just consider the above list. If you’re suffering from Coeliac disease or gluten intolerance, it may seem like your diet is very limited. Fortunately, bakeries such as Gluten Free 4 U have great-tasting gluten-free products that will leave you satisfied and feeling healthy.
Gluten Intolerance and Coeliac Disease are Real Concerns
It’s estimated that approximately one in 70 Australians suffers from Coeliac disease, with the majority of cases being still undiagnosed. That’s a real problem that needs to be addressed, considering that these individuals have such a restricted diet and access to gluten-free diets may not seem practical or feasible. Gluten-free foods are becoming increasingly commonplace in grocery stores, on restaurant menus, and a growing understanding of gluten and its effects contribute to this awareness.
It’s also believed that Coeliac disease is on the rise in Australia. If this is the case, then it only makes sense that more people will be adopting gluten-free diets out of necessity.
Gluten-Free Diets Won’t Cause Harm
While it can be argued that gluten-free diet research tends to lack definitive health benefits when compared to diets containing gluten, there’s no denying that for those individuals with gluten intolerance or Coeliac disease stand to benefit from a gluten-free diet.
The key point to consider is whether or not a gluten-free diet is appropriate as a lifestyle choice for someone who does not suffer from intolerance or Coeliac disease. Provided that these people are consuming a diet rich in essential daily vitamins and minerals, going gluten-free may be a sensible choice, although medical evidence may suggest that there are possible disadvantages to gluten-free diets as well. Consult your physician if you’re considering drastically changing your diet and to see if it’s a good idea for you.
There are Potential Health Benefits
Evidence seems to suggest that going gluten-free may have some positive health effects. These include:
- Autism: although inconclusive, some studies claim that autism may react negatively to gluten consumption.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): particularly for those with Coeliac disease or gluten intolerance, IBS and inflammation of the digestive system may be reduced by eliminating gluten from your diet.
- Epilepsy: a study claims that people suffering from epilepsy tested higher than average (6%) for having Coeliac disease.
- Schizophrenia: people with schizophrenia may benefit from a gluten-free diet since they tend to have a higher chance of having antibodies that react to gluten.
- Weight loss: there is much debate regarding weight gain or loss when comparing gluten-free diets to diets containing gluten. Some claim that it may help, others claim the opposite.
Taste the Best with Gluten Free 4 U
Whether you’ve adopted a gluten-free diet by choice or by necessity, you’ll love our baked goods at Gluten Free 4 U. Come visit us in person or order online today.