Gluten â€“ you’ve heard all about it and its bloat-inducing effects. It’s a protein that’s found in grains including wheat, rye, barley, spelt and oats. Some people avoid it as they have celiac disease, a disorder whereby eating gluten triggers an immune response in the body and this can cause inflammation and damage to the small intestine. If left untreated, people who suffer from this disease could suffer from side effects such as digestive issues and nutritional deficiencies.
However, while only one in 140 people have this disease, a gluten-free diet has gained a lot of traction, especially in the past few years. Some people have decided to ditch gluten because it has supposed health benefits â€” plus it’s trendy too (celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow follow such a diet).
Gluten can also cause headaches and abdominal discomfort, which could mean you’re suffering from gluten sensitivity (a milder form) or gluten intolerance; this isn’t the same as having celiac disease as both conditions don’t cause any damage to your intestines.
With more restaurants offering gluten-free dishes, you can, thankfully, still enjoy foods such as breads, pastas and pizzas. One thing to note however â€” gluten-free food has a different taste and texture compared to its gluten-containing counterparts so you might take a while getting used to such food.