Although you may not be familiar with what gluten actually is, you’ve no doubt heard the gluten-free diet as one of the latest diet crazes. While eating gluten-free is a must for those people who have no tolerance for it (celiac disease), gluten can be part of a healthy diet. That said if you were to go gluten-free odds are you are likely going to lean down significantly if you current diet is like that of most North Americans.
Gluten is a protein found in most grains. People with celiac disease are unable to digest gluten and consuming it can trigger an immune response that actually damages the intestines. Symptoms include lack of appetite, fatigue, irritability or upset stomach. If you notice these symptoms after you have gluten it would be worth getting tested to understand your sensitivity to it.
For most of us eating gluten isn’t an issue. The problem is that many sources of gluten contribute to weight gain. Think of the foods that contain flour: breads, cakes, muffins, cookies, and cereals. We all know that cookies and cakes are also packed with sugar but if you look at the labels of most of the cereals, breads, and muffins you eat you will notice they all typically contain sugar as well and often times a great deal of it.
As with any extreme diet you should always be concerned what you may be missing by eliminating gluten from your diet. For many people, the fibre they get from whole grain breads is a major sources of their daily fibre intake. If you do decide to go gluten-free be sure to balance you diet with fruits, veggies, and other healthy grains like quinoa.
It’s always best to go with moderation because if time proves anything about diet fads is that they come and go. The gluten-free diet has gotten a lot of good press because people who follow it typically lose weight. They reason they lose weight is more than likely due to the reduction in sugar they consume rather than the reduction in gluten.
It you want to eat gluten go ahead and just make smart choices. Eat whole grain breads. Read you food labels and avoid sugar. And eat gluten as part of a balance diet stacked with fruits, veggies, lean meats, poultry, fish, healthy fats, and complex carbs like sweet potatoes, potatoes, and rice.
Do that and sure enough you’ll have that six-pack showing in no time.
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