The Pros and Cons of Gluten-Free and High Fiber Diet

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

For those who suffer celiac disease, a life-long gluten-free diet is necessary. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that destroys the lining of the small intestines. This condition prevents the absorption of nutrients. The damaged tissues are due to an adverse reaction to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in barley, rye, wheat and oats.

Because a gluten-free diet may aid in weight loss, it’s become another trendy diet. But there is no scientific evidence that conclude eliminating gluten could promote weight loss. In fact, those who adopted a gluten-free diet consume more calories because these food items contain more sugars and fats to make them palatable.

Pros and Cons of a Gluten-Free Diet

Those who are into a gluten-free diet swear they lost weight. And for the first few weeks, you will lose weight. That’s because you’re cutting back on processed foods, not because gluten-free foods are low in calories. You will lose weight by minimizing your caloric intake. This is regardless if you are or are not eating gluten-free foods. In addition, people who suffer from celiac disease are thin because of mal-absorption. This gives the impression that people on a gluten-free diet lost weight.

Some claim that a gluten-free diet leads to high energy. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence that a gluten-free diet leads to increased energy levels. But if you eat balanced meals, you will get all the energy you need for the day.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Avoiding several food groups will lead to nutrient deficiencies. Gluten-free diet eliminates grains in the diet. This means you will eat less food. Grains are rich in niacin, folate, iron, and calcium. And sometimes, you cannot get these nutrients from fruits alone. Also, grains are rich in fiber. Eliminating grains from your diet means you will not get the right amount of fiber from the food you eat.

Apart from nutrient deficiencies, gluten-free diet is also very expensive. Gluten-free foods cost more and some aren’t even accessible to local groceries. You have to get them at specialty shops. Also, gluten is found in cosmetic and personal care products. You have to stop yourself from using most shampoos, bath gels and medications when you go gluten-free.

Pros and Cons of High Fiber Diet

Just like a gluten-free diet, high fiber diet is also increasing in popularity. Fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble fiber. Both types of fibers are beneficial to the body. Fiber detoxes the system by binding with fat and toxins. It also keeps the heart healthy and the bowel movement normal. But too much of a good thing is not good either!

Too much fiber could cause flatulence and constipation. That’s why you need to drink more water if you are on a high fiber diet!

High fiber and gluten-free diet also cause a reduction in the amount of beneficial bacteria in the gut. These microbes include Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus. These diets disrupt the natural flora of the digestive tract, leading to digestive disorders. It could also weaken the immune system!

A high fiber diet also leads to decreased stomach acid. You need stomach acid to break down food efficiently. Grain fibers are a rich source of phytic acid. This compound binds with other minerals so the body cannot absorb these nutrients. When you have enough stomach acids, phytic acids along with the minerals it absorbed is processed by the body.

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