Gluten-Free Diet Benefits and Myths: Where the Truth Lies

July 18, 22

It is difficult to imagine a product older than bread, except for some meat dishes. People have been eating bread for thousands of years because bread is very rich in carbohydrates and a wide variety of beneficial compounds, including gluten. A real hysteria has arisen around gluten in recent years. People have begun to refuse products that contain it. It's all because of gluten.

Gluten is found mainly in cereals: wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Gluten is a mixture of protein compounds that form an elastic complex like a web (in fact, it is a little more complicated). In combination with water, gluten gives the dough viscosity and prevents it from crumbling. It is easy to understand that bread simply can not be baked without gluten.

The problem began when doctors found that about 1% of all people on earth do not tolerate gluten. This is due to celiac disease—a digestive disorder in which the villi of the small intestine are damaged when exposed to gluten and related proteins (avein, hordein). Gluten intolerance leads to malabsorption of nutrients and, as a result, diarrhea, abdominal pain, exhaustion, low mood, and even depression.

It would seem, what do healthy people have to do with it if gluten is contraindicated for only 1% of the world's population? The fact is that marketers have begun to emphasize the benefits of gluten free by starting to write important information about its content on packages in bright and large fonts.

Consumers quickly picked up the somewhat dishonest wave of "Gluten Free!" and endowed this phrase with the meaning "No harm!" A gluten-free diet quickly became a trend, and along with a fairly high calorie baked goods, gluten-free has become a cult. Any cult, as you know, is associated with mythology. Going gluten free? Let’s discuss gluten-free diet benefits and myths.

Is a gluten free diet healthy?

Going gluten free? Let’s find out the benefits of gluten free and reveal some gluten myths.

Myth #1: Foods with gluten lead to flatulence and bloating

Many opponents of gluten have complained about these symptoms to manufacturers. However, the researchers conducted a blind test and confirmed that the power of the placebo effect is simply amazing: those who ate gluten-free products, but did not know about it, did begin to suffer from increased gas formation. Otherwise, the test showed that gluten does not threaten a healthy person with bloating.

Myth #2: Gluten makes you fat

No. Obesity arises from the uncontrolled absorption of fats and carbohydrates, lack of physical activity and non-compliance with the diet. Bread and other pastries do add a lot of calories and can lead to fat deposits. Gluten is certainly not to blame here. You just need to eat fewer buns.

Myth #3: Gluten causes cancer and heart disease

Yes, it can cause terrible disease if the patient already has celiac disease. Yes, baked goods (which contain gluten) can contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels, but for the same reason, an unbalanced diet and too many calories can do the same. And there is not a single scientific study that would confirm the harm of gluten directly to a healthy person. There is no increased risk of cancer.

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Myth #4: Gluten-free laundry detergent, soap, and cosmetics are healthier

Indeed, if you suffer from celiac disease, then washing powder containing gluten will cause unwanted reactions in the intestines. However, any washing powder will not work if you eat it, right? It doesn’t matter if cosmetics contain gluten, as long as you don’t eat them, there will be no harm. This is another trick of marketers, because the demand for household chemicals with the inscription "Gluten Free" is also higher.

Myth #5: A gluten-free diet gives you more energy

Vegetarians say that plant-based foods, in general, really remove the effect of lethargy, especially after eating. In theory, this can be attributed to the fact that vegans do not eat "heavy" foods, for example, meat. Digesting a broccoli salad is much easier for our bodies than bread, so yes, perhaps vegans are not lying about vigor.
But again, this has nothing to do with gluten, except perhaps, together with gluten, to refuse any "heavy" food and leave the clan of meat-eaters.

Myth #6: There is more gluten in bread now than there used to be

It is not true that even genetically modified wheat contains no more gluten than regular wheat. The difference may be noticeable by variety but not by the standards of time "then and now." If we talk specifically about cereals, then the terrible letters GMO most often mean only the cultivation of plants, and not experiments with genomes in laboratories. Agronomists select the varieties that are richest in yield and do not affect the protein composition of the cereals themselves, hence the gluten content.

So do not believe the rumors, they are usually released by marketers in pursuit of profit. We have tried to uncover gluten-free diet benefits and myths. Feel free to eat pastries if it is consistent with your diet, and your body does not react to flour. Well, go in for sports, look for fitness clubs near your home. Search, book classes, plan your workouts a month in advance, and read interesting facts and articles about health and fitness.

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