Have you ever read the contents of food packaging labels that write the word gluten-free or gluten-free? Do you know what is meant by gluten and what effect it has on the body?
Basically, gluten itself is not a special nutrient. Some food types of grains that have vitamins and are mineral also contain gluten.
Definition of Gluten
Gluten is a type of protein that is usually contained in cross wheat (Triticale), ordinary wheat, and barley or barley. If you see food that has a packaging that says gluten-free or gluten-free, it means that the food does not contain gluten protein.
Gluten-free food is actually aimed at those who have celiac disease or those who have gluten intolerance. Then, what if you eat gluten-free food, but do not have the two diseases? For those of you who don’t have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, gluten-free food will not provide additional benefits compared to foods containing gluten.
Studies show that foods containing whole grains have the benefit of reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease. However, some gluten-free foods actually tend to be less nutritious, including calcium, vitamin B, magnesium, fiber, zinc, and iron.
Foods that contain Gluten
Foods that contain gluten are foods that are derived or made from grains. The following are some examples of foods that contain gluten.
- Some types of beer
- Sauce, salad dressing, soy sauce
- Oats that are not labeled “gluten-free”
- Vitamins or drugs that contain gluten
Gluten Side Effects
For those who have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, consuming gluten can trigger side effects. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease. The immune system of people with celiac regard gluten as a threat to the body. When the sufferer consumes gluten, the lining of the wall of the small intestine will be attacked so that the body cannot absorb the nutrients needed. Side effects that arise in people with celiac disease include:
- Stomach ache
- Decreased body weight
- Stunted growth in children
- Often feel tired
While complications that might occur are:
- Iron deficiency
- Lack of folate and vitamin B12
- The baby’s weight is lacking at birth
- Possible bowel cancer
Whereas for those who do not have celiac disease but are quite sensitive to foods containing gluten protein, that person has gluten intolerance. Side effects that may occur in patients with gluten intolerance include more or less the same as celiac disease, only, without any damage to the small intestine.
Gluten-free food products are for those who have problems with gluten protein. If you do not experience this condition, you should not need to consume gluten-free food products. Besides not providing special benefits, gluten-free food products usually have quite expensive prices.
Some researchers say there is no evidence of sensitivity to gluten in certain people. The symptoms that arise are believed to be due to the content of substances other than gluten. So the recommended gluten-free diet is not believed to be of benefit. However, other studies prove that sensitivity to gluten is really real, albeit to varying degrees. So a gluten free diet is very beneficial for those who are sensitive to gluten.
Whatever your decision regarding the diet that will be lived, you should consult with your doctor first.