Gluten-free is a term that is heard more in recent years than ever before. Due to this, many more companies are creating products that are suitable for those who suffer with a gluten intolerance. Great news for those with coeliac disease as more choices are available especially within baked goods. However, many who don’t suffer with a gluten intolerance are following suit and trying to live a gluten-free lifestyle purely for the implied health benefits, but what are the actual benefits to a gluten-free diet?
As we have mentioned before, the gluten-free diet is one that is followed by those who suffer from coeliac disease. This is when the immune system reacts to gluten, causing symptoms such as bloating, nausea and diarrhoea every time gluten is eaten. The only cure for this is to eat foods that are naturally gluten-free such as rice, fish, fruit etc.
Due to this seemingly “clean” diet, many now believe that a gluten-free diet provides health benefits for those who don’t suffer with the disease. But this isn’t necessarily the case. Many have mentioned that they feel better when following a gluten-free diet when they aren’t gluten intolerant, however certain critics have attributed this to a reduction in refined sugars found in complex carbohydrates rather than the absence of gluten all together.
Certain foods that contain gluten are of course not very good for you in large quantities if they are high in sugar, salt and have a lot of their natural properties stripped out such as white bread, doughnuts, pretzels etc. However, some gluten-free substitutes to baked goods also have a lot of the nutritional properties of gluten-rich products removed such as whole grains which are important to a balanced diet. This means that those who aren’t looking elsewhere in their diet to replenish these lost nutrients such as fibre, could be lacking in certain micro nutrients.
So how can you follow a gluten-free diet and get the nutrition that you need? A gluten-free diet can of course be a healthy diet to follow. However if essential nutrients that are found in gluten are replaced by sugar laden, gluten-free highly processed food, then the healthy diet that you think you may be following, may not be so healthy at all. To be able to achieve a balanced gluten-free diet, eat as clean as possible. If you are eating gluten-free substitutes, ensure that these are of good quality and still provide you with the necessary nutrients that you need. If you can’t find these from the gluten-free substitutes, try and get these from naturally gluten-free foods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts etc.
If you are suffering with a gluten intolerance or following a clean healthy gluten-free diet, take a look at our range of products from our range here.