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Gluten-free craze: An over-hyped anti-wheat scam

‘Gluten-free’ diet is considered as a great way to reduce weight but Dr Namita Nadar, Chief Dietician, Fortis Hospital, Noida, says: ‘There is absolutely no evidence linked to it’

Gluten-free craze: An over-hyped anti-wheat scam

Food intolerance, also known as non-IgE mediated food hypersensitivity or non-allergic food hypersensitivity, has become a common problem these days. In the layman terms, it is difficulty in digesting certain foods like lactose, caffeine, histamine, gluten, and additives such as artificial sweetners, colouring, or other flavorings. Among these, Gluten-intolerance has been found to be a very frequent medical issue nowadays.

"A family of proteins which has been founded in certain grains" is called Gluten. Rare of the rare times, by consuming, it tends to cause a harmful reaction in people which affects them with 'celiac disease' or 'gluten sensitivity'.

"After consuming foods that contain gluten, there are people who feel uncomfortable and ill. Those who are suffering from this disease often experience sharp pain in their stomachs, constipation, skin rashes, diarrhea, bloating, weight loss, anemia, depression, tiredness, and stomach discomfort," shares Dr Shikha Mahajan, Holistic Nutritionist, Diet Podium.

But, what's strange is, the diet which excludes protein gluten is becoming increasingly popular among people who have no medical issues related to gluten.

The reason is, like many other ongoing weight-loss trends including Keto diet, Paleo Diet, Mediterranean Diet, 'Gluten-free' diet is also considered as a great way to reduce weight.

Though, Dr Namita Nadar, Chief Dietician, Fortis Hospital, Noida, does not agree with this fact. "There's absolutely no evidence that simply getting rid of gluten will result in weight loss," she says.

Rather, the nutritionists feel that eating gluten-free food often may lead you to eat more whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and lean meats. These diet changes are often healthier and lower in calories.

However, according to them, people eating gluten-free also tend to make healthier food choices because they are more aware of the need to read food labels.

Ditching the double cheeseburger and fries for a gluten-free meal of salad, chicken breast, and sweet potato are choosing a meal that is much lower in calories. That can result in weight loss over time.

"Some people choose to follow a gluten-free diet merely because it provides structure to adopting a healthy lifestyle," Namita reveals, suggesting that it is important to consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and legumes to avoid vitamin/mineral deficiencies and promote a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Also, sharing the cons of undergoing the gluten-free diet, she notes that this kind of diet habit requires and needs careful attention towards the ingredients and the nutrient content of the food which you are going to be consuming eventually.

Food items like eggs, lean, unprocessed meats, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy products, beans, fruits and vegetables and some of the grains – flax, buckwheat, rice, millet, corn, soy, teff, tapioca, quinoa and potato can be included in your day-to-day diet.

Some of the good things about pursuing this diet are that it helps you to have a relief in digestive symptoms which may include hurdles like bloating, gas, fatigue and, constipation.

And, as this diet, basically eliminates the consumption of foods like junk food, processed foods while filling the cart with healthy fruits & vegetables helps in the weight loss quiet easily.

However, most people can consume food with gluten without any harmful or negative effects, but if you are willing to follow a gluten-free diet, it's good to choose plenty of healthy and delicious naturally gluten-free foods rather than torturing yourself in the name of a trend.

Meghna Khanna

Meghna Khanna

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