Gluten-Free Products: Good or Bad?
Did you know that a piece of bread or cookie can cause you a migraine or hair loss? It’s because of Gluten!
Gluten is not a single element of Nutrition, it’s a family of proteins known as Prolamins. The family includes Glutenin and Gliadin, which are very elastic and helps food hold its shape. For this very reason, gluten-containing grains like Wheat, Barley, Rye, and Triticale are the best suited for making bread and other baked goods.
Gluten-free products do not contain gluten proteins, specially Glutenin and Gliadin. Some foods are naturally gluten-free, e.g. fruits, vegetables, certain whole grains, dairy products, oils, fresh meat, fish, poultry, etc. Others are intentionally made gluten-free, where Wheat, Barley, or Rye are needed, but replaced with better alternatives.
In this article, I’ll tell you about how gluten products can be bad for you, whether gluten-free products are always good for you or not, should you go gluten-free, and why gluten-free products are so expensive!
However, you can check out gluten-free cookies at Molly’s Best for a healthy diet at a reasonable price! All of them have great reviews!
How Gluten Products Can Be Bad For Your Health
Proteolytic enzymes or Protease enzymes break down proteins in the body or on the skin. They also help with digestion by breaking down proteins in the digestive tract. Gluten proteins (Glutenin and Gliadin) are very resistant to these Proteolytic enzymes. For this reason, having foods containing gluten can lead some people to gluten intolerance.
Gluten intolerance includes 3 types of conditions:
- Celiac Disease: It’s an immune disease where you are unable to eat foods containing gluten. If you do so, your immune system will respond by damaging the small intestine. The small intestine in your body absorbs nutrients and minerals from food.
- Wheat Allergy: It’s an allergic reaction to foods containing wheat. If you have a wheat allergy, you are likely to develop symptoms within moments after eating something containing wheat, even by inhaling wheat flour!
- Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity: People in this type of condition experience the same symptoms as Celiac Disease, yet do not test positive for it. This is the most common type of gluten intolerance.
Advantages Of Gluten-Free Products For Your Health
People who suffer from Celiac disease, Wheat allergy, or Gluten sensitivity, don’t have many options other than eating gluten-free foods. Eating food containing gluten may cause them Anemia, Osteoporosis, Neurological disorder, Skin diseases, mild to severe Nausea, or even breathing difficulty.
There are debates about whether going gluten-free is good for other people or not. However, here’s a list of the benefits of having a gluten-free diet.
1. Regain Your Energy Levels
If you have gluten intolerance, then consuming gluten products can damage your intestines which affects the absorption of several nutrients. This can cause nutrient deficiency and hence lead to anemia. Going gluten-free can heal your intestines and restore nutrient absorption functionality. Hence, you can regain your energy levels!
2. Improve Healthy Weight
One of the most common symptoms of gluten intolerance is Diarrhea, and this can be dangerous for people with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity as most people don’t even diagnose with this. Continuous diarrhea is likely to reduce your weight over time. So going gluten-free can improve your weight.
3. Reduces Migraine Headaches
A study by HeadAche Journal shows that there’s a connection between migraine headache and gluten. And when gluten is removed from the diet, people with gluten sensitivity experience headaches less frequently.
4. Reduces hair loss
Biotin, iron, protein, or zinc, if you’re not getting one or more of them properly, you might face a hair loss issue, says the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD). As you already know, consuming gluten products can damage your intestines which affect the absorption of several nutrients, especially iron! So going gluten-free can reduce your hair loss.
5. Eliminates bloating and Autoimmune Troubles
For the very reason stated above, if you have gluten sensitivity, you may experience symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, autoimmune troubles, stomach pain, etc. In that case, creating a gluten-free diet is not an option for you.
Are Gluten-Free Products Always Good For You?
No, if you don’t have Celiac disease, Wheat allergy, or Gluten sensitivity, then a gluten-free diet won’t be good for your health.
Many suggest that you should always follow a gluten-free diet, whether or not you have gluten sensitivity. Negative media coverage has led millions of people to go gluten-free in search of a healthier life.
But there’s no strong experimental evidence for this. In fact, many experiments show that if you don’t have gluten sensitivity, then a gluten-free diet can cause you nutrition deficiency.
Gluten is present in grains like Wheat, Barley, Rye, and Triticale. So avoiding gluten means giving up bread, cereals, pasta, pizza, beer, sauces, soy sauce, snacks, beverages, and even toothpaste! So you’ll suffer from nutrition deficiency a lot! Hence, you may start losing weight.
Whole wheat is a major source of dietary fibre, which your bowels need to work properly. So if you remove gluten from your diet, you may face issues, especially if you actively don’t take supplementary elements like Brown rice, Quinoa, Fruits, Vegetables, Beans, etc.
What Are The Popular Gluten-Free Foods?
If you have decided to create a gluten-free diet, then here’s a list of some popular gluten-free foods. These are especially safe for you if you have gluten sensitivity.
1. Gluten-Free Cookies
Generally, cookies are made using wheat flour, which contains gluten. But some special cookies are made using supplementary elements. For example, you can check out Steve & Andy's Cookies, which are USDA Certified Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free Cookies. It’s my special recommendation for you!
2. Gluten-Free Bread
Nowadays, you can find gluten-free products in health food stores or major supermarkets. One such product is gluten-free bread. These are specially made with rice or potato flour. How to determine? Make sure to check the label where it must say “100% gluten-free”.
3. Cereals (Corn and rice-based)
Corn and rice-based cereals are good alternatives for common breakfast foods. But they might contain malt, which is another gluten-based ingredient. So make sure to check the label.
4. Pasta Made From Rice, Corn, or Quinoa
Pasta is generally made from wheat flour. So you must avoid regular spaghetti, macaroni, and shells. Instead, try out pasta made from Rice, Corn, or Quinoa.
5. Rice and Potatoes
The most common solution for a gluten-free diet! You can get many different recipes from these two foods. In fact, these are the most common foods in Asian countries.
6. Chicken, Beef, Fish
If you’re not a vegetarian, then this might be the listing you’re looking for! Fresh chicken, beef, and fish are gluten-free and are full of proteins. However, some dishes made from these ingredients, like hot dogs, can be processed. So make sure to check the label or additives that can contain gluten.
7. Eggs, Vegetables, Fruits, Milk
These foods generally don’t contain gluten. But be careful of frozen or canned fruits and vegetables, as the additives can contain gluten. In short, if your food is processed, you must check for the ingredients.
8. Ask Not To Use Gluten Ingredients In Your Restaurant Meal
If you have gluten sensitivity, then it might be the worst case for you that you’re afraid of your meal at restaurants. Don’t be shy, the chefs are there for you! Explain to the server about your gluten sensitivity and ask them not to add gluten ingredients, especially Wheat, Barley, Rye, and triticale to your meal.
Why Are Gluten-Free Products So Expensive?
A study by NCBI shows that gluten-free foods cost on average 159% more than gluten-containing foods. But why is that?
1. Requires More Ingredients
Many free-from foods contain more ingredients than their regular-recipe counterparts. For example, a study shows that a loaf of gluten-free bread can contain more than 20 extra ingredients in its recipe. This is to cover up the lack of wheat. As a result, a loaf of gluten-free bread can cost twice as much as a loaf of regular bread.
2. The Complex Form Of Production And Maintenance
The threshold for a product to be considered gluten-free is 20mg per Kg. So strict monitoring and precautionary measurements are required from production to delivery. Every batch of food needs to be tested before it is served. To maintain the strict rules and output the highest standards, more dedicated resources are needed. Hence, the price goes higher.
3. Primary Ingredients Are More Expensive
This is the most relevant reason behind the higher pricing. Rice and Corn are the primary ingredients used instead of wheat, both of them are more expensive than Wheat.
4. Extra Certificates To Bear The Gluten-Free Labels
You may have noticed that most gluten-free products contain some certified labels. These labels increase the total production cost. Hence, affects the end price of the products.
In a nutshell, gluten is a family of proteins found in Wheat, Barley, Rye, and Triticale. It’s a very important food element, but lots of people have gluten sensitivity. So if they eat foods containing gluten, they start showing symptoms. In that case, they try to create a gluten-free diet plan.
There are many health benefits of a gluten-free diet, but no experimental evidence if it’s good for people without gluten sensitivity. In fact, if you don’t have gluten sensitivity, you should not remove gluten from your diet entirely!
Lots of foods are naturally gluten-free, I tried to list out the most popular ones. Fortunately, rice, potatoes, chicken, beef, fish, egg, milk, fruits, and vegetables are naturally gluten-free. But be careful about processed or canned foods as the additives can contain gluten.
The “Free From” family foods are more expensive than their traditional counterparts. This is because of the extra and expensive ingredients, complex form of production and management, and the required certificates to bear the labels.
However, if you’re looking for some amazing gluten-free cookies, check out our product page!