First off, I want to acknowledge this topic as being controversial. I understand that your opinion might differ and I respect that. I felt compelled to write about this as a continuation of my series about food labels.
That being said, I was always wondering what the story was behind the gluten-free diet. Considering the fact that food proclaiming free anything is usually perceived as healthy, I was taking this with a grain of salt and thought, oh well, another fad diet. But curiosity got the best of me and off I went on doing my research. Hence this post. I will start with explaining about gluten and celiac disease.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a kind of the protein found in grains like wheat, barley, or rye. It can wreak havoc on those affected with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. It can trigger an inflammatory response damaging the lining of the intestines and interfere with food absorption process.
Celiac disease belongs to the group of autoimmune disorders, when immune system attacks the other organ systems, instead of doing what it is supposed to do. This disorder proves somewhat difficult to diagnose since it can mimic a host of other GI conditions so oftentimes it goes undiagnosed. Off the topic but ditto for type 2 diabetes. Celiacs, you are not alone.
As of this writing, there is no cure for the Celiac disease so gluten-free diet is a godsend to them. Those affected have no other choice but to stick to this diet. Some websites such as Nutrition Facts even go as far as arguing that celiac patients can actually be cured by going on a gluten-free diet. I respectfully disagree. What happens in this case scenario is that people with celiac disease have no symptoms while being on a gluten-free diet but by no means they are cured. Had they gone back to eating products containing gluten, their symptoms will be back in no time flat.
By the same token, if people with diabetes like myself completely eliminate sugar from their diet, their BG levels could be normal but unfortunately they’re not cured. If we start consuming sugar-containing food in the before-diabetes quantities, guess what will happen. I don’t really want to go there.
Is gluten-free diet good for the rest of us?
To be continued