Gluten is protein made up of the peptides gliadin and glutenin which can be found in grains such as wheat, semolina, rye and barley. It’s known for giving bread its airy and fluffy substance and dough its sticky texture.
Lately many people tend to cut gluten from their diet. You’ve probably heard that going gluten-free might be good for you,maybe already started a gluten-free diet, and you’re noticing some benefits, but you’re not really sure.Despite all the information out there about gluten, it can be confusing to know just how it may be affecting you.
For most people, gluten isn’t the terrible, horrible protein and doctors insist you shouldn’t avoid it just to follow a trend.It’s estimated that only 1% of the population suffers from celiac disease, yet roughly one million Americans say they’re trying to nix gluten from their diet.
About one in 133 Americans has celiac disease, which means their bodies can’t process gluten correctly. If they continue to consume it, it can attack the small intestine, leading to damage that interferes with nutrient absorption. The only way for those with celiac to experience relief is to eliminate gluten.Sometimes, however, even in people without celiac disease, a gluten intolerance or sensitivity may be present. If so, it can cause symptoms like digestive upset, headaches, joint pain, and even brain fog.
Like with any other major change you make to what you’re putting in your body, there could be side effects. Here are some things you might want to prep for.
Lose key nutrients
While gluten itself does not contain unique nutritional benefits, the whole grains that contain the protein often do. Wheat-containing products are fortified with B vitamins and iron. But many gluten-free food options are not. Which means that, for people who eat a diet of cereal, sandwiches and pasta, wheat is the most nutritious thing they eat all day.
Have a calmer, happier stomach
Whether you believe in gluten-free diets or not, it is scientifically proven that of all the carbohydrates, whole grains are the hardest to digest.Things like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, gas, cramping, and overall discomfort should lessen significantly as your intestines no longer have to deal with gluten. If you’re still having trouble, make sure you’ve completely eliminated gluten
The same way that gluten can cause inflammatory problems in the joints, it can also cause inflammation in the skin, leading to acne breakouts, eczema, psoriasis flare-ups, itching, hives, and rashes. If you suffered these pre-gluten-free, you could see your flare-ups lessen after about a month on your new diet.
Experience anti-inflammatory benefits
Inflammation is the body’s attempt to bring more nourishment and immune activity to a site of injury in the body. It’s a healing response. The problem, however, is when inflammation persists without reason. When a person has an allergy or sensitivity, a significant reduction in symptoms is noticed pretty quickly. These can include rashes, GI issues such as IBS, autoimmunity, and pain/fibromyalgia.
You may increase your risk for cancer
Unfortunately, pumping up your protein may boost your risk of cancer. In a recent study, people ages 50 to 65 who ate a high-protein diet in which at least 20% of their calories came from protein were four times more likely to die of cancer, compared to people who ate low-protein diets.Researchers believe that high protein intake increases levels of the growth hormone IGF-1, which can encourage cancer cell growth.
Those who suffer from “brain fog” describe it as feeling lethargic and generally out of it, and often, it’s related to diet. Scientists have linked gut health to mental health. Decreasing the inflammation in your stomach could help decrease it all over your body.Many people who eliminate the protein find that they can think more clearly. Cutting back may also help improve your mood.
Probably won’t lose weight
Gluten-free doesn’t equal calorie-free, actually many gluten-free versions of foods contain more calories, fat, sugar, and more sodium than their gluten-ous counterparts to make up for the change in taste and texture that occurs when wheat is removed.