What Is Gluten and Is It Necessary? Is a Gluten-Free Diet Beneficial?

gluten-free-diet

Gluten-free diet is a popular diet in recent times. In this article, we will try to explain what gluten is, in which foods and in which foods it is not, its harms – benefits, who should apply this diet. In addition, in this article, we will talk about the diseases that can be caused by gluten.

We must have heard the word gluten around us. Sometimes from an athlete, sometimes from a patient, sometimes from someone who diet. But what do we know about gluten? What is gluten? So let’s get started

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a group of proteins commonly found in grains. It is found especially in grains such as wheat, rye, barley. Gluten; for example, it is the protein that enables the dough to have an elastic structure and also to make the dough rise.

Storage proteins in cereals are divided into 2 parts: prolamines and polymeric glutenes. Gluten proteins also belong to the class of prolamines. There are 2 types of gluten proteins, gluten and gliadin. It has been observed that gliadin is more toxic in people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. For example, gluten proteins (gliadin) constitute 80-85% of the proteins in the most consumed wheat. This gluten protein group causes some people to develop celiac disease, wheat allergy and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Which Diseases Occur Due to Gluten?

celiac-disease-gluten

As we mentioned in the above article, gluten does not harm the health of every person. For some people, gluten protein can cause some illnesses or ailments. So why does it happen to some people? A question may have come to mind. Let’s explain it as follows: Every person’s diet, anatomical structure, environment etc. are different. Some people care about gut health and prefer foods that are easy to digest, some people do not pay attention to anything. Some people can also get such diseases due to their anatomical structure.

Celiac Disease:

It is the most well-known gluten-related disease. Gluten in foods in some people damages the lining of the intestine (villi) due to allergies in the mucosa of the intestine. As a result, the absorption power of the intestine decreases and nutrients cannot be absorbed. In this case, our body’s immune system perceives gluten as an enemy and attacks it. But while attacking gluten, it also damages the intestine. As a result of this event, serious digestive diseases can occur depending on the damaged intestine.

The most common symptoms of celiac disease are:

Digestive discomfort, tissue damage in the small intestine, fatigue, bloating (gas accumulation), diarrhea, constipation, headache, skin rash, depression, weight loss, bad smell of stools.

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity:

Some people have negative reactions to gluten even though they do not have celiac disease. In such people, symptoms such as stomach pain, bloating, and depression occur. But some scientists do not agree. They think this is due to different foods.

Wheat Allergy:

Similar reactions occur in this. Especially digestive ailments.

Do I Have a Sensitivity or Allergy to Gluten?

gluten-allergy

Conditions other than celiac disease may be caused by different foods. You can make a gluten diet for this. What is the gluten diet and how to do it? First, take this diet for 1 week and see if the symptoms continue. If symptoms persist, you can understand that a different condition other than gluten is causing it. In this case, you should contact your doctor. If your complaints decrease after 1 week, it can be said that you have gluten-related discomfort. Generally, this type of condition is called gluten intolerance.

What are High Gluten Foods?

  • Wheat
  • Spelled
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Graham Flours
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Bread
  • Flours enriched with vitamins and minerals
  • Pastries such as pastry cookies
  • Pasta
  • Instant soups, instant bouillon
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Alcohols such as beer vodka that contain malt

Note: Be sure to check the content of the food you buy.

What Are Gluten-Free Foods?

  • Meat
  • Fish and seafood
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Egg
  • Hazelnut
  • Oils
  • Dairy products such as milk, cheese, yoghurt
  • Gluten-free flours made from corn, soy, rice, potatoes and beans
  • Types of legumes such as dry beans, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, kidney beans.

Should We Have Gluten in Our Lives? Benefits of Gluten

Some people who have no disease, sensitivity, or allergy to gluten have recently adopted the popular gluten-free diet. However, one should not forget the benefits of this substance, which is a protein.

According to the research results, we can list the benefits of gluten as follows:

  1. It reduces your risk of exposure to toxic heavy metals
  2. Gluten-free diet can cause type 2 diabetes
  3. Lesser risk of colorectal cancer
  4. Prevention of excess calories
  5. Gluten-free diet can increase the risk of heart disease

In addition, a study found that people who were fed gluten-free products on the market were lower in protein, high fat and salt compared to the other group. One of the reasons for this is that the products used are inadequate. (1)

 

1- https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/1/170

 

 

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