Eating healthy is a trend that is on the rise, and the latest in this trend is going gluten-free. A gluten-free diet is recommended for people with gluten intolerance, but many non-celiacs have also adopted this diet. It may appear to be another healthy eating habit and a way to reduce your carb intake, but did you know that in non-Celiacs, a gluten-free diet may be harmful to heart health?
Most self diagnose themselves as gluten intolerent and this is a very very dangerous thing to do. Recent studies have identified that people without seliac disease who go gluten free face a higher threat of heart disease as the whole grain intake goes down and they miss out on the heart healthy fiber that is not actively replaced by the diet.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that triggers inflammation and intestine issues when even a little bit of gluten in consumed. Though its a very inconvenient disease for those who suffer from it,the people who choose a gluten free diet without suffering from the disease is on the rise.
So what is the problem here?
Gluten is a form of protein. This is mainly found in many grains like wheat, barley and rye. Ditching gluten became a trend when people started to claim that a gluten free diet made them feel more active and healthier. These are probable outcomes of a gluten free diet, but these can also be a direct result of cutting down on bad carbs and processed food like cookies and doughnuts.
The issue here us that when people go gluten free when there is no need for them to, this might create nutritional deficiencies. Any diet requires a good balance, same goes to a gluten free diet. It is important to supplement the nutrients you loose out on, such as fibre in the case of a gluten free diet, bu increasing the intake of fibre rich food like apples.
A recently conducted study found that people who went on a gluten free diet without deliac disease were at increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. In fact, the risk of heart diseases in people on a gluten free diet was up by as much as 15%!
with gluten, such as wheat, are stocked with nutrients such as high levels of fiber that keeps your heart healthy, it is important to make sure that you replace the nutrients that you lose through a gluten free diet.
If you dont have gluten intolerence, dont be so afraid of gluten. Specially forms of food that are minimally processed like barley, farro, kamut and similar whole grains. They contain many nutrients that are excellent for your health.
If you still want to live a gluten-free lifestyle, increase your fibre intake with gluten-free grains like oats, brown rice, and millet to avoid the cardio-vascular risks.
In addition to grains, food items like avocados, lentils, raspberries, broccoli, etc. are excellent sources of fibre that can complement your fibre-free diet.