Is the Gluten-Free Diet Just a Fad?
A gluten-free diet is all the rave lately – but why? Is it actually the healthier choice for the average person? Or has society made it seem that way through advertising and the media? Are there health benefits of a gluten-free diet, or can an individual face adverse-effects by cutting gluten out of his or her diet? Grab a snack, because we’re diving in.
Gluten-Free Diet for Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivities
Celiac Disease is a serious autoimmune disorder, that causes an individual’s body to mount an immune response when they consume gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. During this immune response, an attack on the lining of the small intestine, called the villi, takes place. The villi that line the small intestine are responsible for nutrient absorption; however, this attack damages them and leads to nutrients not being absorbed properly into the body.
For individuals with celiac disease, gluten cannot be tolerated even in small amounts. This immune response can interfere with the absorption of nutrients from food, which can then lead to other health issues like malnutrition, osteoporosis, infertility, nerve damage, and seizures. Some individuals have a much less extreme condition called gluten sensitivity, which causes similar symptoms but does not lead to intestinal damage.
A gluten-free diet is a lifestyle change eliminating a multitude of traditional food options – many breads, pasta, cereals, pizza, and BEER. (Fear not, we know of a delicious gluten-free beer option, Güten Beer!) A ton of food has gluten hidden inside that a lot of us are unaware of. This can make it extremely challenging to completely rid our diets of it.
While it may seem like the “healthier” thing to do, food items containing gluten are oftentimes major sources of vitamins, while gluten-free items are not. It is important to be conscientious of critical nutrients that could be lacking when consuming primarily gluten-free, processed or refined foods, for example, fiber, iron, zinc, calcium, folate, niacin, and more.
Supplementing with a multivitamin-multimineral should help you avoid any nutrient deficiencies. However, consuming whole foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, lean meats, and gluten-free whole grains will generally result in a well-balanced diet.
There is a multitude of grains that are naturally gluten-free, like brown rice, buckwheat, millet, sorghum, corn, and teff. For an individual with celiac disease, it generally to check labels for a “may contain” statement. Cross-contamination during production is extremely common, so make sure you are consuming safe gluten-free options!
Not to Fear…We have the Beer!
Check out our website to learn about Güten Beer – a 100% gluten-free beer option. Based in Atlanta, Georgia and brewed at a gluten-free facility in Colorado. Güten Beer is brewed with gluten-free grains and hops, such as sorghum, millet, and buckwheat. Golden in color; subtle notes of herbs, earthiness, and spice on the nose; moderately dry amber lager with a slightly sweet finish! Check out our store locator to find locations in Georgia that carry us! Cheers!