Gluten-Free Diet, What Is It and Will It Help Prevent Colon Cancer?
Thanks to celebrities like Kim Kardashian sharing their diet secrets, the current buzz word of the health and diet world is gluten-free. But what exactly is gluten-free? Is it a diet fad? Is it a lifestyle change for a condition? Will it help with weight loss or prevent colon cancer?
I don’t blame anyone for wanting to know more about gluten-free. Trust me, I am the first to go Internet surfing when I hear about a new product or diet that can not only help me lose weight but is also considered healthy. Plus with Domino’s and Kellogg’s Rice Krispies in the news talking about their latest gluten-free products, who wouldn’t want to know more about gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between rye and wheat), and a gluten-free diet is a diet that eliminates gluten. Seems simple enough, right? Unfortunately, following a gluten-free diet is anything but simple. A lot of packaged items contain some sort of gluten. Also a gluten-free diet eliminates some of the most basic and loved foods like breads, cookies, cakes, crackers, soy sauce and chicken broth.
Following a true gluten-free diet isn’t an easy undertaking. It’s a difficult life-style change, and therefore is only prescribed as treatment for celiac disease.
Celiac disease (as a side note May is Celiac Awareness Month) is an autoimmune disease and not a food allergy. The small intestine of people with celiac disease can’t tolerate gluten, usually causing weight loss and diarrhea. Eventually, according to the Mayo Clinic, the decreased absorption of nutrients that occurs with celiac disease can cause vitamin deficiencies that deprive the brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver and other organs of vital nourishment. Since there is no cure, diet restrictions – the gluten-free diet – is the best way to manage the disease.
So now I must address what we are all probably thinking: If a gluten-free diet is a treatment for a disease, why has it also become a diet fad?
If you do basic search on the gluten-free foods you will notice that a lot of the items that contain gluten also are high in carbohydrates. Eliminating carbohydrates is usually a fast way to shed pounds. I know when I need to drop weight I check my carbohydrate intake, but you have to remember when cutting grains out of your diet you’re also cutting out vitamins. Those who are prescribed a gluten-free diet usually seek the help of registered dietician to make sure they absorb enough key nutrients.
Also when it comes to colon cancer, a gluten-free diet will no better help prevent the disease than will a balanced nutritional diet where moderation is practiced. Actually, if a gluten-free diet isn’t followed correctly one is at risk of not getting enough iron and fiber, which are two important nutrients in the fight against colon cancer.
So I know that the gluten-free diet seems more trustworthy because it sounds healthier than the grapefruit diet, the master cleanse or seven-day color diet. But the gluten-free diet is more than just a diet, it’s a lifestyle choice that needs to be carefully managed in order to avoid nutritional deficiencies.Tags: celiac awareness month, celiac disease, Colon Cancer News, colon health, diet fads, diet secrets, gluten free foods, gluten-free, glutten free diet, grapefruit diet, health and diet world, help me lose weight, kim kardashian, lifestyle diets, mayo clinic, treatment for celiac, what is gluten?