In the food industry, there are a lot of things that have gotten a bad reputation that they don’t necessarily deserve. Some things that come to mind in that category include “fat”, “salt”, and, most recently, “gluten”. The problem with shunning these foods or categories is that if you don’t understand them, you might be doing more harm than good to your body. So to help ensure that you’re shaping your diet based on accurate information, here are three things that you should know about gluten.
Understanding What Gluten Is
Before you can decide whether you should be cutting gluten out of your diet, you first need to know exactly what gluten is. According to Cynthia Sass, a contributor to Health.com, gluten is just a type of protein that’s found in wheat or other grain products. It’s important to remember, however, that gluten can be found in items that don’t have wheat in them as well. Gluten is naturally occurring and does serve a purpose within many people’s bodies, as it functions as a protein. However, for some people, gluten can cause a lot of internal problems when it’s consumed because their bodies don’t know how to metabolize it.
The Ranges Of Gluten Intolerances
You’ve probably met someone who has a gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity. But if you don’t have personal experience with this, you might not quite understand what this means. According to IFT.org, people who have been diagnosed with celiac disease get severe inflammation in their bodies when exposed to gluten. Because of this, they should try to avoid gluten at all costs. If someone doesn’t have celiac disease but does have a gluten sensitivity, they can also experience inflammation symptoms when exposed to gluten, although their reaction might not be as severe. Symptoms that might manifest include things like diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, and more.
Watch Your Vitamin Intake When Avoiding Gluten
If you don’t have a gluten intolerance or a gluten sensitivity, your body can process and use gluten as it should. In this case, there’s no reason to avoid gluten. For those who do avoid gluten, whether it’s medically necessary or not, it’s important that you keep an eye on your vitamin levels. According to Angela Nelson, a contributor to MNN.com, those who don’t eat gluten have been known to have lower levels of iron, calcium, folate, vitamin D, and more. These are vital vitamins for your body, so make sure you’re finding ways to consume and absorb these vitamins if you’re not eating gluten in your diet.
If you’ve ever wondered about gluten and what it can do to a person’s body, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you develop your own understanding of this food product.