A gluten-free diet is a diet that is free of a protein known as “gluten”. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and other related grains.
A gluten-free diet is primarily used to treat celiac disease. These patients are allergic to gluten. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease. Gluten-free diet helps people having celiac disease control their signs and symptoms and prevent complications.
Initially, following a gluten-free diet may be frustrating. But with time, patience and creativity, you’ll find there are many foods that you already eat that are gluten-free and you will find substitutes for gluten-containing foods that you can enjoy.
1 – CELIAC DISEASE:
Gluten free diet is used primarily to treat patients having celiac disease. Celiac disease is a congenital disease in which patient is allergic to gluten containing diet. These patients develop diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, bloating, weight loss and loss of appetite if they don’t follow dietary restrictions advised by their physicians. Children fail to thrive and fail to achieve appropriate milestones with increasing age. Therefore avoiding the gluten containing diet is crucial for these patients.
2 – NON-CELIAC GLUTEN SENSITIVITY:
Some people develop symptoms of indigestion after taking gluten containing diet even without having celiac disease. These are labeled as having non-celiac gluten sensitivity. These patients can also stick to gluten free diet to remain symptom free.
3 – GLUTEN FREE DIET MAY BE BENEFICIAL FOR THE HEALTHY INDIVIDUALS:
Gluten free diet is being recommended by some experts for healthy individuals as well. But there is NO EVIDENCE to support this and also a RISK of deficiency of vitamins.
Gluten-free fad diets are popular and endorsed by celebrities such as Miley Cyrus. The book Wheat Belly which refers to wheat as a CHRONIC POISON became a New York Times bestseller within a month of publication in 2011. People buy gluten-free food because they think it will help them lose weight, because they seem to feel better or because they mistakenly believe they are sensitive to gluten. However the gluten-free diet is not recommended as a means to eat healthier, lose weight or diagnose one’s own symptoms.
GLUTEN FREE DIETS
Switching to a gluten-free diet is a big change, and like anything new, it takes some getting used to. You may initially feel deprived by the dietary restrictions.
The allowed gluten free diets are naturally occuring gluten-free foods, such as meat, fish, nuts, legumes, fruit, vegetables, rice, corn, potatoes, quinoa, buckwheat, sorghum and products made from these, such as breads and gluten-free beer. Gluten may be used as a clarifying agent in wine, some of which might remain in the product.
Some foods may contain gluten, so they would need specific labelling, such as gluten-free ice-cream, ketchup, chicken bouillon, corn cereal, ice cream toppings, malt flavouring, oats, and chocolate. And some non-foodstuffs may contain gluten as an excipient or binding agent, such as medications and vitamin supplements, especially those in tablet form. People with gluten intolerance may require special compounding of their medication.
ALWAYS AVOIDED FOODS
Avoid all food and drinks containing Barley (malt, malt flavouring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley), Rye, Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye) and Wheat.