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gluten-free diet

Should I Do A Gluten-Free Diet?

Gluten is a type of protein that can be found in grains such as wheat. Some people have certain health conditions that make them intolerant to gluten. What are the types of foods that contain gluten?  Who needs to adopt a gluten-free diet? Check out the explanation in the following article!

Foods that Contain Gluten

Wheat is one of the staples that can be processed into various types of food. Unfortunately, not everyone can consume it. Some people cannot tolerate the gluten content in wheat and the like. Examples of foods that contain gluten include:

  • Bread and cakes: various processed white wheat flour such as white bread, biscuits, donuts, muffins, pancakes, and waffles, contain gluten 
  • Pasta: various types of pasta made from white wheat flour usually have a high gluten content
  • Canned soups: ready-made soups packed in cans often contain gluten as a thickening agent
  • Beer: apart from food, beer is also mostly made from malt, which has a high gluten content

What is Gluten-Free Diet?

As the name suggests, a gluten-free diet means eating foods or drinks that do not contain gluten. Implementing a gluten-free diet means eating only whole food sources such as fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, or gluten-free processed foods. 

Some people may think that gluten-free means not eating carbohydrates at all. Carbohydrate sources such as rice, potatoes, corn, and sweet potatoes do not contain gluten, so those with gluten intolerance can still consume them. 

Is Everyone Suitable to Eat Gluten-Free?

Eliminating gluten from our daily diet may cause us to miss out on the fiber and nutrients contained in whole grains. Whole grains can lower cholesterol levels and help regulate blood sugar levels. In addition, some gluten-containing foods are sources of essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins B, iron, and magnesium. 

Dr. Selvi Rajagopal, an internal medicine and obesity specialist at Johns Hopkins Medicine, recommends eliminating processed foods from your diet rather than eliminating gluten. 

If you don’t have a specific condition that requires a gluten-free diet, you don’t need to avoid it. You can still eat foods that contain gluten to have its benefits. 

Who Needs to Implement a Gluten-Free Diet?

Gluten is a type of protein that some people are susceptible to. Therefore, people with the following health conditions need to implement a gluten-free diet, including:

1. Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that occurs in a person with a genetic condition where the consumption of gluten can cause damage to the small intestine. People with celiac disease will usually experience symptoms such as diarrhea, excessive gas production, or constipation after consuming foods containing gluten.

2. Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Dermatitis herpetiformis is a chronic skin disease triggered by gluten consumption. Dermatitis herpetiformis is also commonly experienced by people with celiac disease. Symptoms usually include bumps, blisters, and itching after consuming foods or drinks containing gluten. 

3. Gluten Ataxia

Gluten ataxia is an autoimmune disease that can cause our immune system to attack parts of the brain in response to gluten consumption. People with gluten ataxia usually have problems with balance and coordination.

4. Wheat Allergy 

People with wheat allergy do not fully respond to all sources of gluten. Those with wheat allergy only show allergic responses such as itching, redness, and digestive or respiratory problems after consuming wheat. However, people with this condition can still tolerate gluten sources like barley.

5. Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity 

This health problem is often referred to as gluten intolerance. Until now, the exact cause is still unexplained. However, people with this condition will usually show symptoms of gluten intolerance similar to those of celiac disease. 

6. Autism Spectrum Disorder

In addition to autoimmune diseases, a gluten-free diet also affects children with autism spectrum disorder. A meta-analysis study proved that gluten-free and casein-free diets can reduce stereotypical behaviors and improve cognitive abilities in children with autism spectrum disorder. 

Implement a Gluten-Free Diet Wisely!

If you have gluten intolerance, you must avoid gluten-related foods or drinks. You can choose whole food ingredients or processed products that do not contain gluten. Read the ingredients of the processed food or drink you buy before consuming it!

Arummi’s Recommendation: Arummi Cashew Milk is a Gluten-Free Milk Option!

Arummi cashew milk is made from natural cashews and is gluten-free. Get the product at the nearest supermarket!

This article has been reviewed by Ainy Suchianti, Bachelor of Nutrition.

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