Gluten is a protein found in most grains. The gluten found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye) can trigger serious health problems or other insensitivities. While other grains such as corn, rice and quinoa also contain gluten, they don't seem to cause the same problems as wheat, barley, rye and triticale.
Because wheat, rye, barley and foods made up of them are so common, removing them from your diet likely changes your overall intake of fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. Therefore, it's important to know how to choose your foods in order to meet your overall nutritional needs.
Your doctor or a dietitian can help you make appropriate dietary choices to maintain a well-balanced diet.
A diet is important for managing signs and symptoms of disorder and other medical conditions related to gluten.
A diet is additionally popular among people that haven't been diagnosed with a gluten-related medical condition. The claimed benefits of the diet are improved health, weight loss and increased energy, but more research is required.
Ø Celiac disease is a condition in which gluten triggers immune system activity that damages the lining of the small intestine. Over time this damage prevents the absorption of nutrients from food. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder.
Ø Non-celiac gluten sensitivity causes some signs and symptoms associated with celiac disease — including abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, "foggy brain," rash or headache — even though there is no damage to the tissues of the small intestine. Studies show that the immune system plays a role, but the process isn't well understood.
Ø Gluten ataxia, an autoimmune disorder, affects certain nerve tissues and causes problems with muscle control and voluntary muscle movement.
Ø Wheat allergy, like other food allergies, is the result of the immune system mistaking gluten or some other protein found in wheat as a disease-causing agent, such as a virus or bacterium. The system creates an antibody to the protein, prompting an system response which will end in congestion, breathing difficulties and other symptoms.
Following a diet requires paying careful attention to food selections, the ingredients found in foods, and their nutritional content.
Allowed fresh foods
Many naturally gluten-free foods are often a neighborhood of a healthy diet:
Ø Fruits and vegetable
Ø Beans, seeds, legumes and nuts in their natural, unprocessed forms
Ø Lean, nonprocessed meats, fish and poultry
Ø Most low-fat dairy products
Grains, starches or flours which will be a part of a diet include:
Ø Corn — cornmeal, grits and polenta labeled gluten-free
Ø Gluten-free flours — rice, soy, corn, potato and bean flours
Ø Hominy (corn)
Ø Rice, including wild rice
Ø Tapioca (cassava root)
The foods not included during a diet provide important vitamins and other nutrients. For example, whole-grain breads and other products are natural or enriched sources of the following:
Therefore, following a diet will likely change your nutrient intake. Some gluten-free breads and cereals have significantly varied nutrient levels compared with the products they are replacing.
Some gluten-free foods even have higher fat and sugar contents than the gluten-containing food being replaced. It's important to read labels, not only for gluten content but also for overall nutrient levels, salt, calories from fats and calories from sugars.
You can talk to your doctor or dietitian about foods that would provide healthy, nutrient-rich alternatives.
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