Eating Gluten - What Happens When You Consume It?
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Eating Gluten – What Happens When You Consume It?

Eating Gluten – What Happens When You Consume It?

Commonly, people think that gluten-free foods are better for you but research has found that often they can contain more salt, sugar and fat when compared to the same product that contains gluten.

So, what happens when you consume it?

Digestive problems

The problem with gluten is that it is a large protein with a low surface area.

Therefore, when it passes through the digestive system, the increased surface area makes it easier for the enzymes to break them down.

So chew your food thoroughly to aid digestion.

Autoimmune response

Less than 1% of the population who suffer with coeliac disease will experience an autoimmune response to gluten, which is launched by the body.

This will attack the villi and results in poor absorption of nutrients.

This can lead to around 5-8% of people experiencing discomfort but the villi remain intact and so they will experience bloating and diarrhoea.

It is all in the gut

Our stomachs will often lead the way, especially when we are hungry, but there is, in fact, more to the relationship between the brain and the stomach than you might realise.

Within the gut, there is a huge amount of cells and fibres that produce serotonin; in fact, there are more than you will find anywhere else in the body.

Recent studies have found that those who are sensitive to gluten and were given a placebo actually experience a vast improvement in their mood when compared to those individuals who were given gluten in the form of a capsule.

Incorrect nutrition

Many believe that gluten can make them feel tired and worn out and so, they opt to go gluten free in search of more energy.

However, some will find that giving up gluten will in fact cause them to feel tired.

Those foods that contain gluten will also deliver a wide range of other nutrients such as folic acid, iron and fibre.

If you take these away from the diet you are effectively causing nutrient deficiency and that can lead to an increase in tiredness.

So, rather than opting for gluten-free food, choose wheat alternatives while increasing your intake of fruit and veg.

Don’t remove gluten completely!

That bloated feeling

Many people, including celebrities, have raved about the way in which gluten causes them to bloat up and feel rather uncomfortable.

However, the truth can be seen to be a bit more complicated than that.

It is not uncommon for people to become bloated after they have consumed foods that are rich in wheat.

Despite this, the bloating that they experience could be put down to the gluten that they have consumed or it could be down to the short-chain carbs.

Identifying which one is causing the problem is where the problem lies.

So, don’t look to cut down on your gluten by cutting off the crusts because you will then only remove fibre from your diet and that in itself can lead to a number of problems.

Stephen Coleclough
Stephen Coleclough
admin@stephen-coleclough.com

Stephen Coleclough is a personal trainer and online fitness/nutrition coach from the UK. He loves heavy squats, smashing PRs and bacon sandwiches. You can follow him on Twitter at ColecloughPT.

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