AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

0966765 what foods contain gluten 300x229 Gluten Free May Be Good For Me!Gluten-free diets have been gaining popularity in recent years. In fact, it’s common to see items identified on restaurant menus and supermarket shelves with the trademark “GF.” For some, these dietary choices offer a healthy diet; however, for others there is little choice. Due to severe health concerns such as Celiac disease, some people need to avoid gluten products at all costs. Gluten is a protein that is found in grains. It is present in most cereal and bread products, and is even added to a whole range of processed foods as a flavor enhancer or used as a thickening agent.

What is a Guten Free Diets?

Primarily, a gluten–free (GF) diet avoids all gluten products. It can actually be quite difficult to follow as gluten pops up in most of Western society’s food. Gluten is a vegetable protein that comes from grains such as wheat, rye and barley. As wheat is a staple food that forms the flour used to make the bread, pasta and processed foods commonly eaten, it is everywhere. People who follow this diet need to read product labels as gluten is found in some dairy products, most baked goods and seasonings.

Why Avoid Gluten?

Some people have a severe sensitivity to gluten–a debilitating condition known as Celiac disease. Celiac disease is an auto-immune disorder that greatly impairs the small intestine’s ability to work correctly. As a result, the sufferer is not able to process food properly. Common symptoms of this disease are painful wind and bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, mouth sores and inflammation. Long-term sufferers are often diagnosed with nutritional deficiencies. It is a genetic disease, but it can also be triggered by viral infections, stress, or poor diet.

One doesn’t have to have have full-blown Celiac Disease to desire to eat gluten free.  Some people experience mild reactions, suggesting that they cannot tolerate regular amounts of gluten. Many people find that they just feel better on a GF diet.

GF Health Benefits

gluten free diet greatly helps with irritable bowl syndrome and other digestive complaints. The diet reduces inflammation in the body, which lessens the symptoms of seasonal allergies and sinus issues. Decreased inflammation also helps with acne and other skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. The diet reduces arthritis pain too. The body is more able to digest food, which allows for better nutrient absorption. Research has also noted improvement in the physical, mental and emotional health of people with Down’s syndrome, Autism and Multiple Sclerosis. GF diets are also part of holistic treatments for depression, anxiety and fertility programs. Many people have received great success in losing weight by turning to a GF diet, as the diet avoids processed foods and promotes healthier alternatives.

GF Risks

When removing grains, many essential nutrients are no longer part of the diet. Important nutrient like iron, calcium, dietary fiber, thiamine, niacin and folate that are not always easy to replace using supplements are often lacking in a GF diet. Working with a dietitian or nutritionist can make it easier to make sure you are getting all of the necessary vitamins and minerals if you choose to give a GF diet a try.

There are many benefits to a gluten-free diet. It encourages a diet of fresh and healthy foods. It also avoids processed products, which lessen the amount of fat and salt in the diet. It can become difficult to maintain, and followers run the risk of being tempted by bread, pizza and baked goods. But the good news is that more and more GF products and recipes are circulating, making it easier to find tasty alternatives that serve the body well.

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Abouth the author: Catherine Scott, author of Online RN to BSN, is a GI nurse who not only helps her patients with their Gluten Free diet questions, but as a Celiac Disease sufferer she has been eating Gluten Free for 10 years.


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