New Delhi: The rising trend of gluten-free foods in India has become quite a trendsetter with many people opting for these foods but what exactly is gluten-free food?
Gluten-free foods don’t contain gluten – a protein that is usually found in wheat, rye, and barley.
This diet is usually advised to people suffering from celiac disease that is an allergy that is triggered by the immune system when the body comes across minute amounts of gluten present in food that damages the small intestine lining.
This can interfere in the absorption of nutrients from food, cause a host of symptoms, and lead to other problems like osteoporosis, infertility, nerve damage, seizures and many more.
Well, people are opting for this GFD for its perceived benefits such as losing weight or better digestion.
There are also willing to ditch the traditional chapatti, bread, pizza, pasta all made up of protein gluten.
“In snacks, makhana is quite a popular option for those living on GFD,” says a retailer based in south Delhi where GDF has become quite a trend nowadays.
But according to doctors, this is quite a dangerous trend, TOI reports.
“There is a hype that gluten produces inflammation, diabetes and heart disease. Low or nil gluten intake, however, increases heart disease,” says Dr. Anoop Misra, chairman, Fortis CDOC hospital for diabetes and allied sciences, said.
Indian chapatis are a rich source of fiber and protein and wheat is a source of dietary fiber which is needed for proper functioning of bowels and “It is a source of protein also, which most Indians lack,” Dr Misra adds.
Clinical Nutritionist Ishi Khosla says social media and publicity of the same are the reasons behind the rise in GDF trend in India.
“Many patients come to me narrating how going gluten-free has improved their digestion and bowel movement. Those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome are most common,” she said.
But she says this diet is only advised for people suffering from celiac disease or other conditions where there is a clear indication for such abstinence.
“Normal, healthy people shouldn’t take to such extreme measures without enough evidence,” Khosla said.
This diet can increase the risk of heart disease because whole grains containing gluten are associated with cardiovascular benefits said a study published in the British Medical Journal.
The team of researchers said promoting GDF for normal people not suffering from the celiac disease should not be encouraged.