A lot has been said, heard, written and read about Gluten Free foods and ingredients that are an absolute necessity for quite a few people around the world. This is mainly because these people should not consume any gluten at all. That leads us to a BIG question – What is Gluten Free Diet?
Any diet that does not include any sources of gluten can be called a gluten free diet. But the question that arises is, why would you want to eliminate gluten in the first place?
Accepted that Gluten is an irritant factor, but why is it so? Let’s try and answer that question first…
People who fall under 2 different categories need to follow a Gluten Free Diet.
- Those who have Celiac disease – due to this autoimmune disease, the intestinal villi are not able to absorb carbohydrates and gluten.
- Those who are Gluten intolerant – these people have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity or allergy. Their bodies naturally reject gluten and cause the same symptoms as Celiac disease.
Next question that gets asked usually is…
What are the symptoms of gluten intolerance?
Testing and diagnosis of any such condition can happen only when you yourself have determined if you could be suffering from its symptoms. And to help you to determine just that, here are the usual symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Joint or bone pain
But the much more important point to consider is treatment…
While there may be other ways to treat either of these, the best and most permanent way to tackle the symptoms is by…
Following the Gluten Free Diet
When we come to taking an in-depth look at the Gluten free diet, there are a number of things that must be considered:
- First up, what to eat and what not to eat – all natural sources of gluten are completely eliminated from the diet.
- The question of contamination – quite often manufacturers, when processing and packing a product will not put any gluten-containing ingredients into it, but gluten can still find its way into the product through cross contamination of ingredients. The best way to avoid this is to only go for products that are certified to be gluten-free by reliable certifying authorities.
- And finally, learn to check food labels – often you think that a product couldn’t contain any gluten-sources – but there’s much that you may not know. So learn to read product labels, and read them very carefully (it will usually be explicitly mentioned on the packaging itself if a product is gluten-free) – after all prevention is much better than dealing with the symptoms of gluten intolerance!
So, after having given you so much information about gluten intolerance and gluten elimination diet, we come back full circle to our first question – What is Gluten Free Diet?
Well, really, what is it? It is a special diet for people whose immune system rejects gluten or some component of gluten – for one reason or the other. This special diet does not include any, even negligible sources of gluten, so that your body isn’t given even a hint of a chance to suddenly go to reactivity mode and turn its guns (antibodies) on you as opposed to the germs that they were originally meant to target!