Is a Gluten Free Diet Healthier?

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Is a Gluten Free Diet Healthier?

In today’s world, there is a lot of writing regarding healthy. This is partly due to the fact that the world has changed in such a way that there is an abundance of food. Food choices no longer depend on mere availability of food. Instead, they depend on the personal tastes and preferences, alongside the health benefits that they provide. This is a luxury that would not have been available to many a few centuries ago. The literature and writing that comes up is often due to the fact that people are trying to write what is best. However, not all of it is credible. The claims about gluten free diets being healthier will be examined in the rest of the essay here.

In order to be healthy, there are a few things to consider. One is the diet, another is exercising, there is general physical health, and finally, mental health. The last two considerations can only be made by qualified health professionals. In case anything is amiss, they recommend the necessary medication, therapies or diets to make the situation better. Following their recommendations is one of the ways in which people get better. In the case of exercise, the gym instructors and other qualified people can help. Some of the exercises can also be done at home without any assistance from anyone. In an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, the need for exercise is becoming more pronounced.

Gluten is a protein that is found primarily in wheat. This means that nearly all the foods that are made of wheat contain gluten. Gluten is also found in other related grains including barley, rye and oats. One of the observable characteristics of gluten is that it enables the dough made from either of these flours to stretch and sometimes to stick. This characteristic is responsible for the fact that breads and cake rise when backed while maintaining their shape. Often, it gives the final product a chewy texture (Walter, 2013). The characteristics that are listed here are not harmful to people in any way. The stretching qualities of gluten are particularly useful for making bread and cakes.

One of the conditions that is associated with gluten consumption is celiac disease. This falls under the umbrella of the gluten related disorders. These disorders usually mean that the person who has them is not able to consume wheat or other related grains without experiencing some complications. The amount of people diagnosed with these disorders worldwide is increasing in the recent years. This may be partly due to the spread of wheat consumption, alongside the development of wheat varieties with more gluten content. These disorders are so far the only evidence there is of the ills of gluten. These conditions are usually serious and they often demand that a person stays as a far from gluten as possible (Ciclitira, Ellis, & Lundin, 2005). In addition, they cannot be ignored. To reduce their occurrence, many countries require that products with gluten be labeled. In order to diagnose celiac disease, a medical professional is usually needed. The tests often involve a period of excluding many other foods that do not contain gluten, but that could be possible allergens, and other periods where gluten is consumed. Since the set of characteristics for gluten sensitivity can be determined, it is easy to come up with them from this, and to diagnose celiac.

For a normal healthy person with no sensitivity to gluten, there is currently no evidence that gluten offers any harm. Being a protein found in grains, it is sometimes thought of as a necessary component of the diet of a person (Walter, 2013). However, many people perceive that a gluten free diet is better even if they do not have any gluten sensitivity issues. The reasons for this include wrong advice from family and friends, and the increase in misleading websites that propose this. It should be noted that the aims of most of these website is not to help. Instead, it is to make money, either by selling alternatives. Many people fall for these =scams in their struggle to eat better and healthier foods.

One way to avoid these scams is to make sure that a person is critical of the information that is available on the internet. This can be done by fact checking. For example, if a site claims that a study confirms a certain gluten reaction, it is always responsible to find the actual study and look at it. The advantage of this is that it may help in reducing the number of fake health articles on the internet. In addition, it may make people a lot less paranoid about their choices of food. Another way to be sure of the information is to check the credibility of the site. This is done by checking the credentials of the authors. Experts in the field of nutrition are likely to give better advice regarding gluten as compared to average bloggers.

In summary, it is clear that avoiding gluten is an increasing trend. The reasons are faulty advertising on the internet, and people’s desire to be healthier. It is also clear that for some people, gluten sensitivity can be an issue. An example mentioned is the case of celiac disease. However, unless there are specific complications, the rest of the population does not benefit from avoiding gluten. In any case, the benefits of gluten diet clearly outweigh the risks. To be healthy, all that is needed is enough food from the main food groups and in the right quantities. Exercise and regular medical checkups are good too.

References

Ciclitira, P. J., Ellis, H. J., & Lundin, K. E (2005) Gluten free diet- What is toxic? Best Practices & Research Clinical Gastroenterology, 19(3) 359-371

Walter, D. B. (2013) Gluten sources, composition and health effects. New York. Nova Biomedical/Nova Science, Inc. 

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