First off, what exactly is Gluten?
Gluten is simply a part of wheat. It’s a protein found in wheat.
Now, gluten is not a bad thing for most people. It is only harmful for people who have a disease called celiac disease, or a related condition called non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
What is the chance that you have a gluten sensitivity?
Gluten is harmful for those who have celiac disease. Their bodies have an autoimmune reaction to gluten, and it causes gastrointestinal symptoms. Celiac disease is very rare, and only one percent of the population has it. However, complaints about gluten from those who test negative for celiac disease, called are on the rise. Still, Celiac disease and gluten-related disorders are still rare, and only 5% of the population globally reports these symptoms.
Should I follow a gluten-free diet?
You should only follow a gluten-free diet if you have gluten sensitivity. Avoidance of wheat to avoid gluten without careful planning can lead to fiber and several nutrient deficiencies, and intake of other foods can lead to increased saturated fat intake. So, the decision to follow a gluten-free diet is not something to be taken lightly.
How do I know if I am gluten sensitive?
There are blood tests that can be performed to determine if you have celiac disease. However, it is common that individuals will start following a gluten free diet before the testing, and the testing would therefore not detect Celiac disease. So, it is important to do the testing before you start a gluten free diet.
Can you give me a diet if I am gluten sensitive?
Yes, a trained dietician or nutritionist can provide an adequate diet that is gluten free. We would tell you to avoid wheat-containing products, while ensuring your macronutrient and micronutrient balances are still where they need to be.
If I’m not gluten sensitive, what should I do about gluten?
You can continue to eat wheat! Gluten has not been shown to be bad in any other way. In fact, if you fastidiously avoid gluten, you can make life unnecessarily difficult for yourself and have possible dietary inadequacies.