What are the Health Risks Associated with Gluten?
Gluten is not healthy, hence, more and more people are trying to rid their diets of foods containing gluten. But what’s so wrong with foods containing gluten? Why should you care about the percentage of your gluten intake? Below is a list of medical conditions that are associated with a heavy gluten diet.
Gluten is a protein element that is found in common cereals such as barley, wheat, rye, and spelt. Gluten contain two proteins: glutenin and gliadin. Many people react negatively to gliadin. Celiac disease is a condition in which the immune system attacks the gliadin protein.
About 40% of humans carry with them HLA-DQ2 & HLA-DQ8 genes. These genes make them sensitive to foods with gluten and in some cases, can cause diseases such as a painful bloated stomach, diarrhea, or fatigue and bone/joints pain.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Inflamed intestines from gluten foods causes stool inconsistency, pain and fatigue.
Gluten-sensitive idiopathic neuropathy is a neurological disease whose cause is unknown, but whose risk is markedly higher in people with gluten-filled diets.
Gluten found in wheat is addictive due to presence of small proteins known as gluten exorphins. The unnatural cravings may worsen celiac disease or lead to overeating, which causes obesity.
Food Distribution Chart
|Foods With Gluten (Avoid these foods if you are on gluten-free diet).||Biscuits, Beer, Bread, Cakes
Cereals (except a few from the good list below), Chocolate bars, Cookies, Corned beef, Couscous, Crackers, Donuts, Gravies, Malt beverages e.g. whiskey, Malt vinegar, Monosodium glutamate, Muffins, Pasta, Pastries, Pies, Pretzels, Pizza, Sauces, Sausages, Salami, Sauces – many have wheat as a thickener, Soups – many have wheat as a thickener, and Wheat flour.
|Foods Without Gluten|
|Vegetables, Legumes and Vegetables without Gluten||Artichoke, Asparagus, Avocado, Bell peppers, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Chard, Chickpeas, Coconut, Collards, Cucumber, Eggplant / aubergine. Garlic (avoid if on FODMAP diet), Ginger, Green beans, Kale, Leek, Lemon, Lentils, Lettuce, Limes, Mushrooms, Olives, Onions (avoid if on FODMAP diet), Pak choi / bok choy, Parsley, Pineapple, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Sauerkraut, Scallions, Shallots, Soya beans, Spinach, Squash, Tomato, Turnip, Watercress and Zucchini / courgettes.|
|Meats, Poultry, Fish and Meat Free Substitutes. Make sure these foods are neither breaded nor buttered.||Beef, Cod, Chicken, Cold cuts, Duck, Fish Lamb, Mincemeat, Pork. Quorn mince, Salmon, Shellfish and mollusks, Trout and Turkey.|
|Cereals, Grains, Breads, Biscuits, Pasta, Nuts and Cakes||Gluten-free bread e.g. Genius bread, Udi’s gluten-free bread, Gluten-free cereals, Gluten-free oats, Amaranth, Arrowroot, Beans, Buckwheat groats or Kasha, Cassava, Chia, Corn or maize, Corn Flakes, Flax, Gluten-free oats, Granola, Millet, Nuts, Nut flours, Porridge oats, Potato, Quinoa, Rice, Rice Krispies and Seeds.|
|Condiments, Dips, Desserts, Sweets, Sweeteners and Spreads||Coconut oil, French mustard, Ground pepper, Honey, Horseradish, Jam, Jellies, Olive oil, Rice pudding, Salsa, Salt, Sesame oil, Sorbet, Syrup and Tapioca pudding.|
|Drinks||Gluten free beer, Almond milk, Fruit juices
Potato vodka, Rum, Sodas or fizzy drinks and Wine.
|Dairy Foods||Butter, Cheese (but not bleu cheese), Cream, Eggs, Milk, Sour cream, and Yogurt.|
Cooking ingredients, herbs and Spices
|Gluten-free flour, Baking powder, Bicarbonate soda, Corn flour, Cream of tartar, Potato flour, Rice flour, Soya flour, Herbs, and Spices|
Most people worry about what may become of their nutrition when they give up their wheat diet. The above food distribution chart shows you the foods to give up, but also gives you a wide array of other foods that you can develop a menu from. Whatever else you do, make sure that your new diet is properly balanced so as to ward off other diseases that may crop up due to poor nutrition.