Gluten-free diet – The pros and cons
A gluten-free diet is associated with Celiac disease. But in a lot of instances, it is adopted for weight loss and as an alternate diet to avoid carbohydrates. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of this diet and see if it is healthy, has side effects, and what to use as a substitute for whole grain carbohydrates in a gluten-free diet?
What is a gluten-free diet?
Gluten sensitivity in terms of Celiac Disease is the most common form of Gluten intolerance – a condition that damages the lining (villi) of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing specific nutrients in food that are important for staying healthy.
What not to eat on a gluten-free diet?
Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat, barley, rye, malts and oats. When people with gluten intolerance eat foods or use products that contain gluten, theirimmune system reacts by damaging these villi. A gluten free diet is used to treat those suffering from celiac disease.
Also avoid bulgar, durum wheat, semolina, kamut, etc. Instead, switch to cereals like quinoa, sorghum (jowar) amaranth (rajgeera) tapioca, millets (bajra and ragi) or rice.
Can a gluten-free diet lead to weight loss?
A gluten-free diet results in weight loss, but…
Energy is sourced from carbohydrates, but lack of it results in burning of stored fats for energy. Pooja Bhargava,Nutrition Consultant and Physical Fitness expert says, “Moving from “regular” processed foods to gluten free ones may result in weight gain.” She also adds, “Many gluten free foods are made with refined flour, which is fibre drained, leading to high sugar levels and more fat storage.”
Does a gluten-free diet cause healthy problems?
According to Dr. Simran Saini, Weight Loss Consultant at Fortis Hospital, New Delhi, “If not careful, it leaves a person suffering from many nutritional deficiencies. So, it is important to plan a gluten free diet in such a way that one derives the maximum number of nutrients as part of one’s diet, if he/she wishes to stick to gluten free options.”
How to substitute ingredients in a gluten-free diet
if you want to follow a gluten-free diet it is best to consult a nutritionist to prevent health problems. Priya Laxman, Owner and Pasticceria Connoisseur of Piccoli Tortini says, “Use gluten-free flour as a substitute like amaranth flour and arrowroot flour”.
Gluten-free ingredients include products prepared from corn flour, rice flour, potato starch, etc. Gluten-free dietincludes rice, eggs, fruits, maize, meat and vegetables.