A diet without sugar, fat, lactose or a gluten-free diet. You must have noticed all these diets, the fashion right now is “XXX-free” diet. On paper, they all look good. At some point, you must have read that eating gluten-free was the solution to your stomach problems, your digestion problems, the remedy for acne or that the gluten-free diet was an effective way in losing weight quickly. But is it really justified? Info or Intox ? … not easy to see clearly! Let’s have a quick look at them.
1. What is the gluten-free diet?
It’s “simple”, this diet excludes any trace of gluten from your diet. OK, but why? Is gluten really that bad for your health? First of all, gluten is a set of starch and proteins (gliadin, glutamines, albumins and globulins), present in many cereals. It is thanks to gluten that our famous baguettes and dough are as soft, honeycombed and elastic as they are. For the average person, gluten brings no constraints, except in one case: if you suffer from celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune, chronic and intestinal disease that induces an immune reaction through out your intestines causing digestive disorders. Rest assured, if you do not suffer from this disease there is strictly no reason for you to remove gluten from your diet and / or follow a “no diet”. Indeed a food exclusion, whatever it may be, is not innocuous and it should only be prescribed for medical and/or nutritional reasons. (1)
2. Special cases of Gluten Hypersensitivity and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Hypersensitivity to gluten is manifested by a set of non-specific digestive symptoms that occur after the ingestion of gluten. Numerous studies (2) have examined the subject but nothing has yet been demonstrated. Nevertheless it seems that the exclusion of gluten improves the symptoms in 90% of people. If you think you suffer from hypersensitivity to gluten it is important to take care of your intestinal flora to strengthen your intestinal barrier.
On the irritable bowel syndrome side, researchers are looking into the effectiveness of the FODMAP’S diet, whose effects seem to be promising.
3. And what about the other benefits of a gluten-free diet?
So yes, that’s where we start to see some poison and the beautiful effect of fashion … As it stands, no studies have proven that a gluten-free diet improves digestion, that it reduces your unsightly acne or that it helps you to lose weight. OK, some people will tell you the opposite, but is it really a question of gluten or rather a change in diet? Let’s look further at this hypothesis. Of course, removing gluten from one’s diet translates as a change in diet, you’ll reduce industrial products, replacing them with new cereals and legumes containing many minerals, you’ll cook more etc, in short, your food balance improves and we know it, rebalancing your diet has many health benefits and it can help also help you lose weight. It is not the exclusion of gluten that makes you lose weight but simply the fact of eating better. Finally, only if you ban industrial products without gluten … And yes, it was recently read in a magazine of 60 million readers that ‘ready made’ gluten-free products do not necessarily rhyme with diet; to overcome the lack of gluten, manufacturers use many additives and lots of fat! The products are therefore often very calorific …
But then what should i eat? And what should I not eat?
4. List of gluten-free foods:
It is much easier to remember foods that contain gluten rather than list those that do not. As a result, rye, oats, wheat, barley, triticale, spelt cereal and Petit Epeautre are banned.
But it’s not all over, gluten is very useful to the food industry and it is found in many “ready-made” products. Just have a look at dried spices, sauces, breaded products, crisps, cakes, sweets, cold meats, pre-prepared dishes and beer and all foods that have on their label “traces of gluten” in the list of ingredients, and pay particular attention to products that contain the following: wheat, starch, gelling agents, starchy materials, oatmeal, syrup, malt, plant amino acids and protein binders.
5. The 3 tips to make gluten-free eating a success every day
- Read the nutritional labels
- Exclude processed foods and promote homemade dishes
- Do not be afraid to discover new foods, new flavours
If you want to change eating and learn to eat gluten-free, our state-certified nutrition coaches are here to give you all the keys to success. Now, take the step!!
- Schlienger, J. L. (2018). Do “no” diets make sense? Medicine of Metabolic Diseases, 12 (3), 255-259.
- Gerson, M. (2015). Does the sensitivity to non-celiac gluten exist ?. Medicine, 11 (10), 440-440.