For a lot of people it started off as a trend because countless celebrities were advocating it.
The one thing the majority of diets have in common is cutting out/down refined carbs. Bread is one of the biggest culprits and being a convenient food, many find it difficult to give up, replacing wheat bread with gluten free bread options.
Yet many of these options are actually just as refined and will have a direct impact on your pancreas and insulin. This means you are not going to lose weight.
“A cupcake without gluten is still a cupcake. All sorts of fillers and binders are used to make sure the bread doesn’t crumble in the absence of the glue in gluten. These certainly will have a negative impact on your health. Not all gluten-free products are created equal and many do not disclose their full ingredients either. So don’t fool yourself into thinking that gluten free means healthy guilt free eating”, says Desi Horsman, clinical nutritionist, speaker, wellness expert.
According to Horsman, “gluten is made up of a mixture of proteins classified as prolamins and glutelins which are found in grains like wheat, barley, rye, spelt and oats. It has the ability to stretch, which allows bread or pastries to rise, which results in a light, airy texture”. The lower the gluten content, the more dense and heavy the bread will be.
Until recently gluten was considered only a problem for those with coeliac disease, an autoimmune disease in which gluten is the trigger. However, new research on gluten digestion is linked to other autoimmune illnesses which are on the rapid rise at the moment.
Dr Alessio Fasano, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children is a pioneer in the field of gluten, publishing groundbreaking research on the effects of gluten in the body which create gaps between the cells of the gut and cause the intestine to become permeable. “The cells in our gut lining prevent unwanted particles from entering the bloodstream.
Every time you eat gluten, the cells of your gut lining becomes more permeable and allow particles to sneak directly into your bloodstream. For many people this isn’t a problem their bodies easily clear the protein away and repair the gut lining,” adds Dr Fasano. The problem arises though when we constantly eat gluten throughout the day, for instance: