Gluten Free Diet – Pros and Cons
Avoiding gluten when celiac disease is diagnosed, is essential for the overall health condition, but avoiding gluten without a medical diagnosis can be dangerous. People who suffer from celiac disease feels very uncomfortable symptoms such as nausea, bloating, vomiting, stomach pain, as well as muscle cramps, weight loss, chronic fatigue, depression, etc. However, there are many other people who are not diagnosed with celiac disease but experience certain symptoms similar celiac disease. Even though there are no medical proofs for their condition, they claim that they are gluten sensitive. Moreover, many of them, especially ones with the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), are self-diagnosed with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). According to experts, their number is about 44 %. They believe that the symptoms they feel are caused by gluten. But, replacing regular diet with a gluten-free diet does not remove only gluten from a menu, but also other nutrients necessary for optimal functioning of the body. According to several studies, scientists found out that people who are diagnosed with NCGS showed the symptoms of gluten intolerance, even though they did not actually consume gluten. They were only told that the foods they consume contain gluten. Therefore, scientists have concluded that the majority of NCGS patients experienced a so-called nocebo effect. The nocebo effect is when a harmless substance causes symptoms that have harmful effects on our health. To find out more about pros and cons of gluten free diet, the article “Gluten-Free Diet: Potential Risks for People Who Aren’t Coeliac or Gluten Sensitive” gives us the following explanation.
Gluten Free Diet – Pros and Cons
Aside from possibly being unnecessary, there are potential risks associated with eating a gluten-free diet.
“Often the gluten-free choices people are making are foods much higher in calories,” Lambert said.
Lack of Nutrients
The other disadvantage of a gluten-free diet might be that you limit the range of foods you eat and, therefore, the range of nutrients you are able to get.
In a new study published in the Dietitians Association of Australia’s journal Nutrition and Dietetics, Lambert and fellow researcher Catilin Ficken found families could be paying up to 17 percent more for a gluten-free diet and for some single gluten-free products as much as 500 percent more.
Higher Glycemic Index
Gluten-free foods can often have a higher glycemic index, meaning your body breaks the product down more quickly.
“The GI can be lower in some gluten-free products,” Lambert said. “For example, some gluten-free breads have a much higher GI and that’s especially difficult if you’re diabetic. You’re actually substituting something that’s worse in that sense.
Experts explain that gluten is a protein that is essential for our body. According to them, only 1 percent of a population is diagnosed with celiac disease, which is, in fact, the autoimmune disease. On the other hand, non-celiac gluten sensitivity is not an autoimmune disease, nor it is an allergy. Many people feel better after they remove wheat and other grains from their food, but experts suggest that it does not necessarily point at gluten as the main culprit. Cereals contain other ingredients such as FODMAPS that can cause similar symptoms as in celiac disease. But, to be sure we need to do several medical tests and experts’ opinion.