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Most Common Myths About Gluten; What Really Is The Truth

Recently, gluten, found in whole grains and many other food preparations is being considered unhealthy due to misinformation.

Most Common Myths About Gluten;  What Really Is The Truth

Gluten has no adverse effects on an average human body

Gluten is a protein found in whole grains. Some of the whole grains that contain gluten are wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten like other substances needs to be broken down by enzymes into digestible forms by the body. The enzyme that helps the body break down gluten is protease. In some people, the lack of enough protease in the body can cause digestion issues if they consume gluten. Similar to when lactose intolerant people consume dairy products. Hence, gluten is not inherently bad for us. Gluten is often extracted and used in the preparation of other foods to provide them with flavour, stretchiness, and/or protein. However, recently, gluten has drawn a reputation of being bad for our health. 

Here are some myths and misconceptions about gluten you need to be careful of:

A gluten-free diet is good for weight-loss

Many underqualified trainers and nutritionists online, advocate that a gluten-free diet can boost our weight loss journey. However, that is incorrect. Gluten in itself has no fattening qualities. Although, gluten is added to many high-carb foods to give them stretchiness, flavor, protein, etc. Hence, a gluten-free diet might help eliminate high-carb foods. A low-carb diet might be helpful in losing weight and avoiding high-carb unhealthy foods however, gluten has no role to play in it.

A gluten-free diet boosts energy

Many believe that eliminating gluten from your diet can help you boost your energy levels. This misconception is backed by the idea that gluten protein takes longer to digest and might waste our energy. However, that is incorrect. Studies show that high-protein and high-carb foods might make you feel sleepy due to them promoting the production of hormones such as serotonin. It does not necessarily mean they are unhealthy. In fact, the release of serotonin is great for the body and mind. It helps relax the mind and boosts happy feelings. 

Eliminating gluten betters digestion

Unless you are allergic to gluten or suffer from celiac disease, you do not need to eliminate gluten from your diet. A normal human body has no trouble digesting gluten. Protease, as discussed above, is the enzyme responsible for breaking down gluten in the body. Hence, an average person can digest gluten with the help of protease enzymes, just like the body breaks down other foods when consumed.

Gluten-free foods are healthier

One of the most common misconceptions is that gluten is unhealthy, that is untrue. There is a possibility that gluten might be added to foods that are unhealthy. For example, various processed foods such as potato chips, bread, etc., might be unhealthy and have gluten added to them. A gluten-free diet might help you avoid such unhealthy foods, however, avoiding processed and junk food is a better way to go.

Hence, unless you are sure you may be allergic to gluten, there is no reason for you to give up eating the foods of your choice. Gluten has proven to have no negative effects on the human body and is safe to consume. 

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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