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Should I be following the Gluten-free diet?

Posted on November 4, 2017 

by: Hyacinth Acain for TheAtomicDiet.com

Gluten-free cake! Gluten-free burger! Gluten-free salad! Gluten-free bread! Geez, it seems that GLUTEN-FREE DIET is the current craze in town. But what exactly is gluten and is it worth the hype?

To start, GLUTEN is the small amount of protein majorly found in wheat, oats, rye, and barley. The gluten found in hard wheat flour or bread flour is responsible for making the dough elastic during the kneading and molding process. Furthermore, this plant protein also retains the air that the yeast produces on the fermented dough; baking light-textured bread coined simply as fluffy.

Conventional bread made of wheat flour or regular pasta made of semolina flour (derived from durum wheat) has high gluten content. A dietitian may modify a menu by using potato or corn flour (to name a few) so that patients can continue to enjoy their food experience.

So, what’s the benefit of consuming a gluten-free diet?

This diet is recommended for both children and adults, who are diagnosed with celiac disease. Celiac disease is a genetic disorder, wherein the intestinal cells cannot digest gluten properly. Protein is digested in the stomach and it is absorbed in the small intestine. Adversely, when an affected child or adult eats gluten even in tiny portions, the plant protein is recognized poorly inside the intestinal tract. The sensitivity reactions that develop, e.g., digestive irritations, may cause malabsorption of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals, which may lead to nutrient deficiencies or worst, child malnutrition. 

However, this complication can be totally prevented by removing gluten in the diet. Enter, the GLUTEN-FREE DIET.

Alright, what are gluten-rich foods? +++ 

In addition to the four plant proteins mentioned earlier, some possible sources of gluten are found in commercial and premixed food items containing a gluten byproduct, or contaminated with gluten during the food production process. Thus, it is wise to read food labels.

Finally, should we follow a gluten-free diet?

Yes, if one is diagnosed by their doctor with a Celiac disease or with a gluten-sensitivity. For this reason, it is better for the individual to seek the counsel of their nearest registered dietitian when planning a gluten-safe menu. For one, the dietitian can assist the client in preparing a meal by offering various non-gluten food alternatives, which are nutritionally adequate yet considerable to the individual’s preferences.

Gluten-Free Sample Meal Plan for One Day

Food items listed below must not be contaminated with gluten during food processing; must not contain a gluten by product or food binders and thickeners made of gluten. +++

Note: This is only a sample diet recommendation. If you want a tailored gluten-free diet plan, I suggest that you consult a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian. 


Reference of Food Exchange List:

Rolfes, Pinna, and Whitney. (2012). Appendix G of Understanding Normal and Clinical Nutrition (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth

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