Gluten free pasta. Gluten free pancake mix. Gluten free body wash (it exists!). It seems that within the past year, gluten has been excommunicated from society and pegged as the bad guy. But is it technically that terrible? That depends on who you are.

 

If you are one of the roughly 1% of the population afflicted with Celiac disease (or one of the over 80% of people with the disease who have yet to be diagnosed), gluten can pose some dangerous health issues. Gluten exposure in celiacs causes the immune system to attack both the gluten—mistaking it as some kind of bacteria—as well as the intestinal wall itself. This can cause erosion of the intestinal wall, leading to digestive problems, fatigue and nutrient deficiencies, as well as an increased risk of many serious illnesses.

 

What if you are not exactly a celiac, but eating gluten-free just makes you feel better? There are studies that show that individuals with neither celiac disease nor diagnosed gluten sensitivity can still have unfavorable reactions to gluten. Pain, bloating and stool inconsistency are all commonly reported by those without an “official” gluten intolerance, so adjusting their diets to err on the side of gluten-free is simply a positive lifestyle choice. Substituting in corn tortillas for flour ones when making a burrito, or spiralizing your own “zoodles” (zucchini noodles) instead of spaghetti are both relatively simple swaps to make in your diet gluten-free but still flavorful!

 

For those who are not seriously affected by it, gluten does have its health perks. It provides the body with several other nutrients without adding cholesterol to one’s diet. For example, it’s rich in iron, with a quarter of a cup of wheat gluten flour containing 9 percent of your daily requirements as well as small amounts of calcium. Gluten is extremely low in sodium, with just 9 milligrams per serving, and is a protein alternative for people who prefer not to eat meat due to high cholesterol or other health problems. It’s also suitable for those who cannot get their protein from soy or dairy due to allergies to those sources.

 

So is gluten really the enemy? Only to those in which it poses serious health threats. People without sensitivity can still choose to consume it in small quantities for certain nutritional benefits, but for everyone else, it’s just that one someone you would maybe rather not invite to your next dinner party. 

 

Photo Credit: Shutterstock 

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Yuve is a New York City based brand of premium natural health products. Its goal is to provide a natural solution for busy people to maintain a complete diet without compromising on time. Made from non-GMO plant-based ingredients, Yuve’s wholesome products help improving overall health and natural beauty. Yuve has a complete nutritional profile. It contains high amount of plant-based protein, fiber, digestive enzymes, low sugar, very low fat, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-aging agents.

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