Gluten and Healthy Diets: Everything You Need to Know

healthy diet

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that healthy eating and nutrition has become more important than ever before. In fact, 60% of millennials consider their generation to be more health conscious than any other generation. This has led to a massive shift in how people eat. 

The changes have been so significant that there are now a slew of different diet trends and techniques that are geared towards helping people live better and healthier lives. With that being said, this has also led to a surge in misinformation and misconceptions about certain food.

One of the best examples of this is gluten. Gluten has developed a pretty bad reputation, which has brought about countless gluten-free alternatives to everyday products. But how much do people actually know about gluten and is it actually bad? To answer this question, we’ve put together a brief discussion on gluten and its place in healthy diets.

What Is Gluten?

For those of you who have started becoming wary of gluten, then you know how incredibly common it is in the food that we eat everyday. Gluten is a family of proteins that is found in a variety of grains such as wheat, rye, spelt, and barley. If you’ve ever wondered why flour mixed with water causes the mixed substance to become sticky and adopt a glue-like consistency, then wonder no more as gluten is the cause for this. 

How Does Gluten Affect the Body?

Now, this question is a little tricky to answer as it differs depending on whether or not a person has a gluten allergy or gluten sensitivity. For people who don’t have gluten allergies or gluten intolerance, food with gluten is no different from food without it. However, people who have gluten-related complications have it a little tougher. This is because their bodies aren’t capable of digesting and processing gluten. This is especially true for people with Celiac disease, as their bodies react to an enzyme called transglutaminase that causes an autoimmune reaction. This can be quite problematic, as around 3 million Americans have Celiac disease.

Is Gluten Healthy or Unhealthy?

Again, this question is difficult to answer as it really differs per person. If you have celiac disease or other gluten related complications, then gluten can cause some real problems for you. Here are some of the complications associated with gluten:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain

Gluten is made up of two main proteins: glutenin and gliadin. Gliadin is the protein that causes all of the problems as people with gluten-related complications can’t process it properly. 

Can Gluten Be In a Healthy Diet?

Assuming that you don’t have any gluten related complications, then you should have no problem with incorporating gluten in a healthy diet. However, you will have to be wary about the carbs in food with gluten. People who are on a low-carb diet may want to minimize food with gluten to avoid taking on too much carbs.

Conclusion

Gluten has been falsely demonized. As long as you don’t have a gluten allergy or intolerance, you should be fine with consuming food with gluten. However, you have to remember that everything has to be in moderation. Consuming too much of anything will cause problems for your body so be sure to be more mindful of what you eat.

We understand that making the change to live a more health-conscious life can be quite difficult but worry not as The Skinny is here to help you on your journey to a healthier and happier life. For more health advice, be sure to subscribe to our free health newsletter

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