Coeliac Disease is a disorder where the immune system assumes the gluten consumed as a foreign substance and attacks its tissues. The only cure to this is to opt for a gluten-free diet. Besides this condition, a specific part of the population claimed to be “gluten-sensitive” also prefer adapting to such diets. These medical conditions were the root of the advent of manufacturing such foods. Soon, this market gained popularity, leading to the set up of gluten-free shop online facilities where consumers could purchase and gain insight into products vital to their diet.
What Is Gluten?
Gluten(Latin for ‘glue’) is a protein family found in rye, wheat, and barley. It gives the flour a sticky consistency while mixed with water. This property helps the bread to rise when baked and provides it with a satisfying chewy feeling.
Medical practitioners advise only 1% of the population that are affected by celiac disease to follow this diet. However, a majority of the people pursuing this regime are self-diagnosed as “non-celiac” gluten-sensitive. This can only serve as an advantage if they are following a strict balanced diet under a certified dietician, else they can cause deficiencies in the body.
1. To be Avoided:
Gluten is one of the many common ingredients added to foods. The primary sources include:
- All wheat-based foods from wheat flour to semolina:
- Used in bread, pasta, baked goods (e.g., cakes, cookies, etc.), breakfast cereals, and so on.
- Barley and Rye.
- Triticale (a hybrid of rye and wheat).
- Brewer’s Yeast and Malt:
- Used in beer and flavoured liquors.
- It is also best to avoid snacks like candy, chips, pretzels, roasted nuts, and sauces used for salad dressings or in meals(e.g., soy sauce).
2. To be Consumed:
Unprocessed, single-ingredient foods are unlikely to contain gluten and are highly recommended. Besides this, reading the labels of foods in grocery stores or the description section in gluten-free shop online websites will help one select what best suits their taste and regime.
For example, oats that are naturally void of gluten are tarnished when processed in a factory.
Eatables for individuals adhering to a gluten-free diet comprise of:
A legitimate substitute for wheat. It contains 9-13% of fibre and helps in detoxifying your body. Alongside this, millets also are rich in vitamins and minerals and can be grown without pesticides and insecticides.
Other grains that can be eaten are corn, rice, sorghum, tapioca, and quinoa.
All meats and eggs are naturally available gluten-free products. Seafood such as fish also can be categorised under the same.
Dairy Products and Beverages:
Produce that is unflavoured, like plain milk, cheeses, and plain yogurt can be consumed without any concern. Beverages besides beer are considered healthy for this diet.
Substitutes for wheat flour include corn flour, soy flour, almond flour, and chickpea flour.
Fruits and Vegetables:
Organic foods are in great demand and are the perfect fit for the regime.
- All herbs and spices can be consumed without worry, and creative recipes can be devised from the available variety for individuals indulging in foods void of gluten.
Health Benefits of A Gluten-Free Diet:
The three most important advantages of following this diet, especially for individuals diagnosed with coeliac disease, are:
- Relief from Digestive Complications:
Opting for this regime helps them address symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, nausea, bloating, etc.
- Reduction in Chronic Inflammation:
People affected with coeliac disease are subject to inflammation which is a body’s way to cope with infection. Sometimes inflammation gets uncontrollable and lasts for weeks, months, or years causing other health complications. According to studies, this can be drastically reduced by following the gluten-free diet.
- Energy Booster and Weight Loss:
Following this regime helps individuals get rid of the sluggish, tired feeling and work more efficiently.
Since a significant part of this diet involves whole, unprocessed food, it aids weight loss. This is one of the reasons why this regime is gaining popularity amongst the population that is gluten-tolerant.