November 24, 2020 2 min read

What does gluten-free mean?

By definition, a gluten-free diet is a dietary practice where no gluten is included in the meals. The diet restricts the addition of grains such as wheat, rye, barley, and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye) into the diet as these foods are known sources of gluten, a plant protein.

The medical basis behind this dietary practice is to cater to celiac patients who suffer from an autoimmune condition where gluten ingestion causes inflammation in the small intestine. Sufferers of celiac disease can regulate their symptoms by going gluten-free and hence prevent complications.

Be Still Farms- Real Fine OrganicsHowever, there are others who choose to eliminate gluten from their diet based on personal preference. Some of the reasons cited for doing so include promoting weight loss and improving intestinal health. While many of the foods containing whole grains like wheat, rye, and barley can be heavy on calories and may cause weight gain, it is important to remember that cutting out gluten from the diet for non-medical reasons can be detrimental as these whole grains and the foods they are used in also provide a range of other essential nutrients.

Eliminating all gluten-based products just to lose weight also poses the danger of excluding important nutrients from the diet leading to nutritional deficiencies. Experts recommend perhaps limiting the amount of gluten-based foods while trying to lose weight but never to completely take it off the menu unless there are gluten intolerances or sensitivities involved.

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Kinsey Taylor
Kinsey Taylor


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