GLUTEN-FREE FOODS: WHAT’S THE HYPE ALL ABOUT?
Say hello to the new admission to the school of All Things Healthy aka Gluten-Free
‘Gluten-free’ foods' are the latest trend in the food and health fraternity, the current buzz that is doing the rounds around town drawing hordes of the consumer into jumping on its train on their quest for a healthy lifestyle.
Most gluten-free (GF) diet adopters have religiously researched as to which food is GF and which is not. Having done their homework, these consumers have shown the same zeal in flushing out gluten-containing food from their diet. However, there are some important points that their Google searches, YouTube vlogs, and health gurus may have over-looked. These cautionary pointers pertain to the downsides or side-effects of a gluten-free diet.
Sadly, Gluten-free foods can’t be everyone’s friend.
It is an unquestionable fact that the most crucial requirement of any healthy diet is that it must be balanced. This is exactly what gluten-free diets lack – balance. Simply put, a balanced diet is one that contains all the nutrients in the proportion in which they meet the body’s daily dietary requirements for proper and healthy functioning of the body.
Why not you ask?
Gluten-free foods, particularly refined foods that are highly processed to remove gluten (many made with rice starch or potato starch), make false claims about being healthy and adequate alternatives for their counterparts. These are quite seriously deficient in their fibre, iron, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, magnesium, folic acid/vitamin B 9, vitamin A, vitamin K, proteins, etc.
Oh no! But how?
To understand the crux of the problem, we must first deep dive into the anatomy of a grain. A grain consists of three main parts, namely bran, endosperm, and germ. In a whole grain, all these parts remain intact including the bran which contains all the bulk of the nutrients. Whereas, when they are processed to obtain refined grain only the endosperm remains, thereby losing their nutritive value.
Thus, arises the need for food that is naturally gluten-free.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the healthiest of them all?
Whole grains such as Quinoa, Amaranth, Ragi, Oats, Soy flour, etc are naturally gluten-free foods & are packed with fibre, iron, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin K & proteins.
Whole grain cereals can protect the body against the disease and aging process caused by oxidation. Oxidation is involved in all the major chronic diseases: metabolic syndrome, obesity, diabetes, cancers, and cardiovascular disease. Whole-grains contain 31 different antioxidants, which help improve metabolism, beneficial for weight loss, etc. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of these enzymes are necessary for the prevention of cancer and heart disease.
Apart from the obvious dishes, these whole grains can also be consumed as healthy and delish snacks. We at The Green Snack Co have an entire range of gluten-free foods. Our healthy snacks retain most of their nutritional value as they are roasted & not fried, MSG-free, and preservative-free. nutritional value as they are roasted not fried, gluten-free, MSG-free, preservative-free but not flavour-free. They come in many scrumptious flavours. You can explore them all here.
While there are a lot of gluten-free foods available that might seem healthy but are just as unhealthy as their wheat-based counterparts (sometimes even more so). Hence it's important to make a conscious decision while opting for gluten-free foods.