We hear a lot about gluten-free foods like breads, biscuits and cookies etc. Gluten is a composite formed from different proteins; it is mostly found in wheat, barley, rye and malts etc. It is used as a food additive, in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent.
However, the term gluten-free is generally used to indicate, supposedly a harmless level of gluten rather than its complete absence. Gluten-free diet is generally the solution for people diagnosed with 'Celiac diseases' or other food intolerance; it is a kind of disorder resulting from an immune reaction to gluten. It is a chronic digestive disorder and leads to mal-absorption of minerals and nutrients. There is no treatment for celiac disease; the only way to find relief is to have gluten-free diet.
The human body produces an abnormal immune response due to gluten intolerance, and an allergy to the protein can produce symptoms such as hives, difficulty in breathing, and digestive problems; in serious cases, it can even lead to anaphylaxis, a sudden and severe reaction that can be life-threatening.
Gluten-free diet is also said to be good for health. So, many people, who are not really diagnosed with any intolerance, are also opting for gluten-free diet. Several grains and starch sources are considered acceptable for gluten-free diet. The most frequently used are corns, potatoes, rice and tapioca. Many of these foods are used to enhance the flavor of the food. As gluten is used as thickener, it is commonly found in soups and sauces.
Most fruits and vegetables do not contain gluten. They become an ideal food for gluten-free diet. But we should mind that many gluten-free products are not fortified or enriched by such nutrients like folate, iron or fiber. Also, it is a complete myth that gluten-free diet helps in weight loss. According to Indiainteracts, there are no scientific results showing that.