What is Gluten

For any mother that is thinking of putting their child (or themselves) on a diet free of gluten, it is crucial to understand exactly what gluten is and understanding the positives and negatives that come along with having a gluten-free diet. Gluten is a protein that can be found in grains such as wheat, rye and barley and it gives breads, pizza dough and sauces that extra touch that makes it irresistible. It gives the dough stretchiness, breads that sponge like feeling and sauces and soups thicken with it. Of course, when you make the decision to go gluten-free, there are advantages and disadvantages that have to be examined before taking the leap and making the change in the diet. We’ll examine what the goods and bads of gluten-free diets are and make it simple to understand. Many people have attached themselves to the idea that a gluten-free diet can be a cure for so many conditions like celiac, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. This has been the major cause for the increase in hype surrounding the diet, but while it may work for some, it’s not a scientific, proven theory that it will work for everyone. It is also believed that a gluten-free diet is a quick fix towards weight loss, which could be a positive. However, remember that gluten is a binding agent for many foods, so in order for them to make something gluten-free, they must replace that with more fat and sugar in most cases. This can cause an increase in calories and grams of fat, so be aware that gluten-free diets are not always the best choice for weight loss and should be considered before doing it for that purpose alone. Gluten-free diets can also make it an extremely tough task to pick foods when shopping or dining out at a restaurant because the options become limited. Take a moment to think about these things when deciding on if a gluten-free diet is right for you or your children. If you or your child suffers from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, it’s an easy choice to go on a gluten-free diet because you pretty much have to. It’s a necessity to give up the glutens and you must get a screening before giving up the gluten should you feel you have the symptoms of gluten sensitivity. The symptoms include chronic diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain and bloating, unexplained weight loss, anemia, fatigue and infertility. If you are thinking of giving up gluten strictly for diet purposes, know that it could be more stressful than you would like any diet to be. While it may seem as simple as cutting out bread and eating less pasta, gluten makes different foods thick and tasty, so you would be giving up much more than just the obvious like certain seasonings, sauces, salad dressings, etc. Gluten-free options could also lack essential vitamins and nutritional necessities that your body may need. Think about these things before you cut off gluten for yourself or your children.