There are quite a few myths circulating about the gluten free diet. Buying into false myths you believe to be truth can have a huge impact on your gluten-free lifestyle and in the worst case scenario, this can actually have adverse effects on your health.
We’re going to dispel 7 of the most commonly believed myths about the gluten-free diet so you can approach this lifestyle, the safe and correct way.
Myth 1 – Everyone with coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity has stomach issues
Fact – Most people who suffer from these conditions do in fact show a wide range of gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, cramping, swelling, diarrhea, constipation and more but this is not the case with everyone. Some who suffer from these conditions have very mild gastrointestinal problems if any at all. The damage to the lining of the small intestine could, however, result in other medical problems such as iron-deficiency, anemia, infertility and much more.
Myth 2 – It’s ok to consume a little bit of gluten every now and then
Fact – Those with mild gluten sensitivities aren’t affected too much by a little bit of gluten. Those with coeliac disease and severe sensitivities can, however, be affected quite a lot. Healthy non-celiac people can safely consume 20 parts per million which mean that those with sensitivities and especially those with coeliac disease need to be 100% gluten free or they can easily end up harming themselves.
Myth 3 – It’s fine to pursue the gluten free diet without a professional diagnosis
Fact – Anyone can go on the gluten free diet and many do pursue this lifestyle choice because of the potential weight loss benefits of avoiding baked foods. You can also try the gluten free diet if you suspect gluten sensitivity. Medical professionals do, however, recommend testing for coeliac disease since traces of the condition cannot always be detected through blood tests once you have started out on the gluten free diet and you won’t know for sure whether you have the medical condition or not.
Myth 4 – Gluten-digesting aids will enable you to consume gluten
Fact – Gluten supplements such as GlutenEase, Gluten Digest and Gluten Freeze can assist in digesting gluten but the only effective treatment for the condition is by avoiding this protein entirely. These gluten supplements are actually used as a gluten supplement and aren’t really intended to be used for digesting gluten.
Myth 5 – Spelt grain is gluten free
Fact – Spelt grain is still a form of wheat and isn’t gluten free. This grain should, therefore, be avoided if you are sensitive to gluten. Luckily, there are numerous gluten-free alternatives that can be used in place of traditional or spelt flour to make delicious baked goods and sweets! If you’re not an avid baker yourself, you can always visit your local Gluten Free 4 U or order your favourite treats online to have them delivered straight to your door!
Myth 6 – Positive testing for coeliac genes means you have coeliac disease
Fact – Many people have the HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 gene in their bodies and blood tests might pick up these elements but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have coeliac disease. It is estimated that only 30% – 40% of people with these traces do in fact develop coeliac disease. Positive testing for these genes only means that you are at higher risk of developing the condition.
Myth 7 – You can absorb gluten through skin contact
Fact – There is no physical evidence to prove this myth. Gluten needs to be consumed in order to have an effect on the digestive system. Items that you might consume like lipstick should be gluten free because people do in fact digest these cosmetics. Cosmetics that are used externally should be perfectly safe for use.
So there you have it: seven commonly believed myths about gluten busted! Hopefully, these will help you enjoy the gluten free life the right way so you can enjoy optimised health levels and a better quality of life.