Before start speaking about gluten-free diets we should, first, explain what gluten is. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in many types of foods, even ones that would not be expected.
But if Gluten is only a kind of protein found in some grains, such as the proteins found in other foods, why people had stopped eating it? The reason is that gluten is bad for certain people. These people are gluten-sensitive or gluten-intolerant, which means their bodies produce an abnormal immune response when breaking down gluten during digestion. In other words, these people are allergic to gluten. About 18 million Americans have gluten sensitivity, according to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.
However, people without diagnosed celiac disease have started taking up gluten-free diets, clamming that their health had improved after they started doing it. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, 80 percent of people on gluten-free diets do not have a celiac disease diagnosis. Experts worry is, that going on these diets without explicitly needing to could be detrimental to a person’s health, as gluten-free foods are often nutrient-deficient. Dr. Refaat Hegazi, medical director for Abbott’s Adult Nutrition, says that going gluten-free can affect the body in many ways. Some like weight lost, nutrient deficiencies or even cognitive function.