Gluten and Diabetes

Health Blog

One of the latest diet fats that came over the past 5 years is definitely the gluten free diet. Your favorite fitness guru probably extolled how going gluten free helped him to finally get rid of his facial acne (that you don’t remember of).  Your friend probably insisted that she lost her weight (that is quietly creeping back up) because of her gluten free diet. Surely, there’s nothing wrong with going gluten free right?

What is Gluten Anyway?

Gluten is a type of storage protein found in grains (i.e. rye, wheat, barley and oat). It has viscoelastic property that gives bread and pasta its distinctive chewy texture. Many vegetarian foods also use gluten to create meat imitations.

What is Gluten Intolerance

Some people could develop gluten digestion issues at some point in their life, although it most commonly occurs in childhood. For people highly intolerant to gluten, also known as celiac disease it could cause cancer or even death. The global average of people that suffers from celiac disease is somewhere between 1 to 100 and 1 to 170.

Most people that are self diagnosed having issues with gluten are actually gluten sensitive. Different kind of grain and variety have different kind of gluten in it. And depending on the food processing involved, it could also cause different reaction. Wheat is simply the most commonly used cereal in processed food that happens to have high gluten content. For example, I would get slightly bloated after eating pasta, but no problem eating udon and sourdough bread. A truly gluten intolerant person will get hospitalized if he or she consumes my typical gluten consumption.

Why Many People Initially Loose Weight With This Diet?

Most heavily processed foods use gluten to improve their texture. Many of these foods also contains a high amount of refined carbohydrate (sugar and flour) and hydrogenated vegetable oil (margarine, etc.). None of these are good for your waist line. So when you first go gluten free, they will initially avoid all these vices, think of instant noodles, cakes, cookies, etc. By avoiding these food, you will naturally lose fat.

As gluten free diet becomes mainstream, more heavily processed foods simply became available in a gluten free option.  The longer you stay on a gluten free diet, the more you are aware of these options.  If you are a midnight fridge raider who simply switches to fruits at the beginning of your diet but start switching to gluten free cheese cakes once you are aware of the option, it is a given that the weight you initially lost will simply bounce back gluten free or not.

Gluten Free And Type-2 Diabetes

As mentioned before, gluten is actually a plant protein. And protein is good for a healthy diet. One of the functions of gluten is actually to slow down the absorption of carbohydrate in the digestive tract.

Based on the research by Professor Carol Johnston of Arizona State University, for the general public to maintain their level of processed carbohydrate level using the gluten free variation in the form of bread, biscuits and pasta will actually increase the risk of developing Type-2 diabetes. This is due to the fact that without the presence of gluten, the carbohydrate absorption rate will increase. Having a repeated high spike of carbohydrate absorption increases your risk of getting type-2 diabetes. This is the same reason why eating whole fruits is good for your health, but drinking fruit juices are not.

Conclusion

If you are Gluten Intolerant, then yes, you must avoid gluten. Consume healthy natural alternatives instead. Lucky for you, the Paleo movement have created plenty of natural, healthy gluten free alternatives. If you are Gluten Sensitive, simply find what triggers you and then avoid it. Simply consuming any kind of junk food and snacks labeled “gluten free” will actually cause more health damage than simply consuming regular junk food and snack.

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