This causes damage to the lining of the gut and means that the body cannot properly absorb nutrients from food. It is not an allergy or food intolerance. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Some people may also be sensitive to oats. You may have heard the term ‘gluten free diet’ before. This can be a bit confusing to some people because it isn’t a diet in the way that most people understand it – it’s not designed to help people lose weight.
But others, like the gluten-free diet, have arisen from a legitimate medical need. A diet without gluten is used to help alleviate symptoms of celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that affects nutrient absorption and prevents the digestion of gluten. Now many people are going gluten free despite not having this or other similar health conditions that necessitate eliminating gluten. In fact, the number of people on the gluten-free diet is almost double the number of people diagnosed with celiac disease. First things first: Gluten is a protein. Oats are naturally gluten free, but may also be cross-contaminated with gluten if they were processed in a facility with gluten-containing foods. While whole grains are healthy, they can cause harmful symptoms, including bloating and fatigue, in some people. In those with celiac disease, they can lead to more severe issues, like malnutrition and intestinal damage, according to the Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health.
Many believe that the gluten-free diet is simply a quick way to lose weight. This, however, is not true. The gluten-free diet is currently the only treatment for people with celiac disease. So what is gluten anyway? A gluten-free diet excludes all products containing these ingredients.