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The Truth Behind “The Gluten Lie”

The Truth Behind “The Gluten Lie”

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In Summary

“The gluten lie” is a food fad that has recently gained popularity. Many people think that gluten is a dangerous component that needs to be omitted from our diet chart. The actual truth is far from this. Read on to know more.

Editor Posted by Tripti
30/12/2016

The gluten lie is infamous because of the misconceptions among the society regarding the requirement, advantages and disadvantages of Gluten free diet. Basically gluten free diet involves cutting out all sources of food items that contain gluten, a composite protein usually found in wheat, barley and rye. The diet is usually prescribed to those who are sensitive or allergic to gluten (wheat allergy) which causes celiac disease, gluten ataxia and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. Avoiding gluten can prevent a host of health complications in such patients.

Gluten Free diet as a therapy

People who suffer with celiac disease are often prescribed gluten free diet aimed towards healing the intestinal mucosa of the patient. Long term research studies have shown that compliance of gluten free diet is highly helpful in healing of intestinal lesions and correction of nutritional abnormalities, which included increase in bone mass and recovery from osteoporosis.

Gluten free food products:

Gluten proteins are considered low in nutrition and can be avoided from daily diet without any dire consequences. However, the tricky thing with gluten free diet is, replacing gluten with commercially available processed gluten replacement foods, most often leads to the occurrence of secondary health complications due to nutritional deficiencies. In order to avoid that natural gluten free foods or fortified gluten free products must be included in daily diet. These fortified gluten free foods can be easily found in supermarkets which makes them easy to access.

The Gluten Lie

Ever since gluten free packaged food was marketed on a large scale, people started misunderstanding the very concept of gluten-free diet. The packaging of such food items highlight “Gluten free” and people started thinking that gluten is a unhealthy component of the food which is best to be avoided.

On the contrary gluten is a basic part of our daily diet, does not cause any health complications unless you have Celiac diseases or are allergic to it. The gluten lie was propagated after famous celebrities started recommending gluten free diets as body cleansers and also for losing weight. The various aspects of this were highlighted in Alan Levinovitz’s book “The Gluten Lie.”

References:

Newnham, E. D., Shepherd, S. J., Strauss, B. J., Hosking, P., & Gibson, P. R. (2016). Adherence to the gluten‐free diet can achieve the therapeutic goals in almost all patients with coeliac disease: A 5‐year longitudinal study from diagnosis. Journal of gastroenterology and hepatology31(2), 342-349.

Eaton, W. W., Chen, L. Y., DohanJr, F. C., Kelly, D. L., &Cascella, N. (2015). Improvement in psychotic symptoms after a gluten-free diet in a boy with complex autoimmune illness. American Journal of Psychiatry.

Reunala, T., Salmi, T. T., Hervonen, K., Laurila, K., Kautiainen, H., Collin, P., &Kaukinen, K. (2015). IgA antiepidermaltransglutaminase antibodies in dermatitis herpetiformis: a significant but not complete response to a gluten‐free diet treatment. British Journal of Dermatology172(4), 1139-1141.