Research tells us that adverse reactions to gluten can affect not only your digestion and gut health but also parts of your well-being, including your mental and neurological health. So, what do I think? It is not that easy of an answer, but I suggest gluten should be avoided in people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. It may not be celiac, but gluten sensitivity or gluten sensitivity spectrum means you will still have to treat yourself as if.
One of the best strategies for finding out about gluten ingredients is paying attention to food labels, which is necessary if you’re trying to avoid gluten.
For people who aren’t fighting gluten sensitivity or celiac, avoiding gluten is not a health necessity. In fact, going gluten-free can sometimes lead to nutritional deficiencies if not planned and suitable for an individual lifestyle.
So how do you know if something has gluten in it?
I suggest looking at the certifications and the claims on the packaging and seeing if there are any allergen statements, such as wheat which is considered a top allergen, so it’s required, but not other gluten-containing grains. Also, recognize your ingredients. Are they natural and safe? Do you know what they are, or do they appear suspicious?
Gluten is the general term for a group of proteins found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats. Gluten is the “glue” that holds the grain together, making the bread feel spongy.
Gluten can be found in bread, pasta, doughs, baked goods, cereals, and more unsuspecting places like cross-contaminated oats, soy sauce, salad dressings, condiments, deli meats, cheeses, fried foods, candy, alcohol, medications, supplements, cosmetics, and more.
Whether you go gluten-free or consume gluten – try to select “whole” grains to get more health benefits. Just because something is gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s a healthier option. Refined grains with gluten (like white pasta and white bread) and refined gluten-free grains (pasta and bread made from white rice) don’t have as many health benefits as whole grains.
The Health benefits of all whole grains include:
lower glycemic index
may lower the risk of heart disease
associated with lower-risk type 2 diabetes
may aid in weight management
help decrease inflammation
rich in fiber, antioxidants, iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, B vitamins, phytonutrients, and some protein.
Improve gut microbiome
What are your favorite whole grains?