Even though it's been part of the diet of most humans for thousands of years, gluten is getting a really bad reputation lately, with many claiming that a gluten-free diet is a great choice for everyone. Is wheat gluten bad for you? Find out more about the facts and the myths surrounding gluten.
Mostly found in wheat, gluten is a protein that's also present in barley, rye and triticale and some even go as far as to warn against oats, because they come in contact with gluten during the processing and packaging. While a gluten-free diet is very important for people who suffer from celiac disease, it may not be the right choice for everyone.
Is Gluten Bad for You?
While gluten alone has no benefits for the human body, a gluten-free diet has many drawbacks, according to the general medical consensus. When you go on a gluten-free diet, there's a high chance that you'll also be missing out on fibers and important vitamins and minerals.
Gluten is certainly bad for you if you suffer from celiac disease or other forms of gluten intolerance or sensitivity, but it has no negative health implications for most people.
Why is Gluten Bad for You Even If You're Not Gluten Intolerant?
Even if you haven't been diagnosed with gluten intolerance, you may still benefit from a gluten-free diet, but that's not the case for most people, according to doctors. Gluten-free diet activists claim that as much as 80% of the population is sensitive to gluten, but that doesn't seem to be consistent with the fact that there are no scientific studies currently estimating the number of people who may have a little trouble digesting it.
If you have symptoms like abdominal pain and bloating, chronic diarrhea or constipation, anemia, fatigue and unexplained weight loss, you might be sensitive to gluten, but it's always better to get the opinion of a medical professional before removing gluten completely out of your diet.
Dangers of a Gluten-Free Diet
A gluten-free diet for people who don't suffer from celiac disease or any form of sensitivity to gluten is a very bad idea, according to specialists. Most people believe that cutting out bread and pasta from their diets means going gluten-free, but most foods contain gluten.
This restrictive diet can be very hard to follow and costs a lot of money, but the real danger is that by cutting out every product with gluten from your diet, you have a higher risk of developing other nutritional deficiencies.
If you go on a gluten-free diet to deal with digestion issues without consulting a doctor, you could also end up hiding symptoms of other conditions, like Crohn's disease.
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