More about Gluten-Free Diet
Ms Stephanie Koo, HK BioTek Nutritionist
According to an article on the Journal of American Medical Association in 2017, Celiac disease and nonceliac gluten sensitivity are real and common. Along with the increasing awareness of gluten-related health problems: celiac diseases, gluten allergies and sensitivity, gluten-free diets are more common than ever. Many food product manufacturers and restaurants tend to promote their products or meals with the “Gluten-Free” label, gluten-free diets become much more applicable.
As long as the people with these gluten-related problems similarly bring adverse reactions after gluten consumption, it is crucial to eliminate gluten-rich foods like wheat, rye and barley in their diet. Nevertheless, a gluten-free diet can include other grains like rice and corn, fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood, etc.
Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disorder that gluten consumption triggers an immune response, which damages the intestines and interferes with the absorption of the other nutrients. Gluten allergies and sensitivity, are also immune responses. With gluten allergies (IgE-mediated), the immune system overreacts with gluten and may cause serious symptoms that appear shortly (a few minutes to two hours) such as hives and shortness of breath. For gluten sensitivity (IgG-mediated), which is also known as delayed reactions (few hours or several days) which are often hard to discover in daily lives. According to the Food Sensitivity Handbook, there are studies supporting removing gluten from the diet for gluten sensitivities patients have relieved the immune-related issues like eczema and allergic rhinitis.
Although gluten does not pose a health risk to the rest of the population, opinions are divided when it comes to the health benefits of a gluten-free diet. It is said that gluten-free diets often lack fiber, folic acid and minerals and generally contain more sugar and fat. However, opponents say that a gluten-free diet often increases the variety of a diet and often tends to be more nutritious.
For the rest of the people, gluten-free diets are one of the options for you to take care of those who have gluten concerns. If there are many problems and reactions towards any new diet plan, you should watch your body and seek help from your healthcare professionals.
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