Gluten-Free Diet 101: The Basics of Going Gluten-Free

Considering going Gluten-Free? Check out this article on the basics of what Gluten is and why going Gluten-Free can improve your lifestyle.

Gluten is a type of protein that is found in spelt, rye, barley, and wheat. The name gluten comes from the Latin word glue as it provides easy flow with consistency once water is mixed with it.

The glue-like property of gluten allows it to create a sticky network which allows the bread to rise when it is baked. It is what provides bread with a satisfying and chewy texture.

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However, many people are not comfortable with eating foods which contain gluten as it causes celiac disease. It is a severe reaction. For those of you that are unaware, celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where the body harms itself mistakenly.

About 1 percent of the population is affected by celiac disease and it can even damage your intestines. Anyone feeling uncomfortable after having eaten gluten should contact their doctor.

The following are two of the most common ways of testing celiac disease.

  • Blood Test: The blood test is taken to look for antibodies which incorrectly interact with gluten protein.
  • Biopsy from your small intestine: Anyone that has a positive blood test would need a biopsy. It is a process where a small tissue sample is taken from the intestine and it is checked for any possible damage.

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You must get tested for celiac disease before following a gluten-free diet. Otherwise, the doctor would not be able to tell whether you have celiac disease.

Anyone that does not have celiac disease but feels that they might be sensitive to gluten should first try a gluten-free diet for some weeks to check if the symptoms improve.

Make sure to check in with a dietician or nutritionist. You can test for symptoms by reintroducing foods that contain gluten after a few weeks into your diet.

Why Go On a Gluten-Free Diet?

There are various benefits of going on a gluten-free diet. These are explained below.

1. Improvement in Cholesterol Levels

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If you have high cholesterol, then a gluten-free diet might be just what you need. It helps improve cholesterol levels. Anyone with high blood pressure might also find a gluten-free diet to be helpful. However, before you decide to switch to a gluten-free diet, consult with your doctor beforehand.

2. Promotes Digestive Health

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The thing about gluten is that it affects your digestive health adversely, especially if you do not lead an active lifestyle. By following a gluten-free diet, your digestive health will improve.

3. Boosts Energy Levels

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A gluten-free diet leads to an increase in energy level. When you follow a gluten-free diet, you will find yourself feeling more energetic.

4. Eliminates Processed Foods from Your Diet

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The best thing about a gluten-free diet is that processed foods like desserts, bread, fried food, and oils are eliminated from your diet. This helps ensure that only healthy food is consumed which helps one lose weight. Besides, if you follow a gluten-free diet, you would be more likely to consume fruits and vegetables since they are gluten-free.

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