Are you thinking about going on a gluten-free diet? Or about giving up gluten for good? Well, this isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. According to health practitioners, a gluten-free life is appropriate only for people who are diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Despite such efforts from dieticians, there are claims from people who have been gluten-free for a time that the diet has specifically helped in boosting their energy, losing weight, and clearing away brain fog along with other benefits.
Lucky you, though! If you’re planning to go gluten-free during this time, there are now a lot of options available in the market — unlike before when it was just paving its way to the health and wellness industry scene. Much more to say that these alternatives are just as appetizing as regular food or even better compared to other diet foods, too!
To help you in making an informed choice as well as debunking misconceptions, we gathered a list of five things you ought to know about a gluten-free diet:
What, exactly, is gluten?
Since the diet has become a fad, other people just started jumping in on the bandwagon without really knowing what a gluten-free diet is, or even just knowing what gluten is.
Gluten is a family of proteins naturally found in certain cereal grains such as wheat, oats, rye, and barley. Its two main proteins are glutenin and gliadin, the latter being responsible for the majority of adverse health effects of gluten.
When mixed with water, gluten acts as a glue that holds food together in maintaining a shape. This glue-like property gives bread the ability to rise during baking and also provides a chewy, satisfying texture.
Gluten-free doesn’t mean guilt-free
Products that boast they’re gluten-free often have extras added to make them more palatable. In this case, gluten-free foods have more calories in them as compared to regular food. A specific and classic example is potato chips, a gluten-free snack — but it doesn’t necessarily make good healthy food.
Gluten-free isn’t always healthy
Keep in mind that “gluten-free” doesn’t always mean healthier or a better choice. Most people have this certain misconception of believing that gluten-free is healthy. Sorry to break your bubble — but it isn’t!
Foods found in the gluten-free aisle aren't necessarily healthier compared to traditional products. Much more so to skip “unhealthy” snacks and binge on a couple of quinoa chips or gluten-free ice cream.
A gluten-free diet may lead to deficiencies
Sometimes having a gluten-free diet means that there are fewer amino acids, B vitamins, and iron in your body system. This is brought about by a lack of a much-needed fiber supply from whole grains or fortified foods. In having a healthy diet, an adequate amount of fiber doesn’t always equate to wheat. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, gluten-free whole grains, and legumes will usually contain more than enough fiber, amino acids, B vitamins, and iron.
Gluten is found in sneaky places (even non-food consumables)
Gluten can be found in many sneaky places such as salad dressings, meat-alternatives, beer and vodka, cold cuts, cosmetics, supplements, vitamins, and medications… The list can go on and on. Avoiding gluten is as challenging as looking for a needle in a haystack — unless you know how to read the labels!
This is why you should shop at Wow Lah! It's so easy to shop by diet here, just click on the Gluten-Free section to find lots of delicious goodness waiting for you!