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Are Gluten And Fructose Bad For Your Health?

Is Gluten Bad for Your Health?

For years gluten was hardly in the public eye. Gluten-free diets have recently become all the rage on websites and social media, with celebrities posting about their gluten-free lifestyles, claiming that eliminating gluten from their diets reduces belly bloat, increases energy, and provides a better physique.

Research is now showing that at least 55 diseases are linked to gluten, with celiac disease leading the ranks. It is estimated that gluten intolerance affects 15% of the US population, with 99% of those affected never diagnosed.

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is composed of two proteins: glutenin (a glutelin protein) and gliadin (a prolamin protein). It is found in cereal grains, especially wheat. Most people don’t know that gluten is what makes bread coarse and spongy or gives pizza dough its elastic texture. It’s also used to thicken soups and sauces.

Although gluten is often thought of as being specific to wheat, it is also found in rye and barley. Not all grains contain gluten. Gluten-free grains include millet, sorghum, brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat, quinoa, oats, and polenta.

Diseases & Symptoms Linked To Gluten Intolerance

1. Bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and gas. It is important to note that constipation in children is often noted after they eat gluten.

2. Fatigue, dizziness, tiredness, brain fog, and migraine headaches are often noticed after eating a meal containing gluten.

3. Depression, anxiety, and mood swings.

4. Inflammation, pain in your joints, and swelling.

5. Keratosis Pilaris (also referred to as “chicken skin” on the backs of arms). This tends to be the result of a vitamin A deficiency in addition to a fatty acid deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by the damage to the gut caused by gluten.

6. Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Ulcerative Colitis, Psoriasis, Multiple Sclerosis, or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

7. PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), unexplained infertility, or PMS.

How To Do You Test For Gluten Intolerance

The best way to determine if the problems you are having are due to gluten sensitivity is to go on an elimination diet, removing gluten-totally from your diet for at least three weeks. Once you have gone three weeks without eating any form of gluten, slowly reintroduce gluten-containing foods, one at a time, keeping track of what you added when.

Remember that gluten is a large protein and it can take months, or even years, to completely clear it out of your body. The longer you can keep it out of your diet, the better.

Once you have eliminated it out of your diet, if you notice that you feel better, or feel worse once you have eaten gluten-rich foods, then gluten is most likely a problem for you. To obtain the most accurate results you must eliminate gluten completely.

How Is Gluten Intolerance Treated?

The only way to treat gluten intolerance is to eliminate 100% of the gluten from your diet. Trace amounts of gluten found in cross-contamination, medications, and supplements are enough to cause gluten sensitivity and immune reactions. This means not only eliminating it from your diet at home but not eating anything containing gluten when you eat out.

Is Fructose Bad for Your Health?

Sugary drinks are less preferred since they lead to weight gain. The main reasons behind these are –

1. Sugary drinks are extremely high in empty calories

2. They don’t make you feel full

3. You are unlikely to make up for the calories by eating less

In this blog, we are aiming at looking at the wider story. Sugar or sucrose is mainly made up of two different sugars: glucose & fructose. Fructose has a bad reputation owing to the way our body responds to it. But beyond this, here we are aiming to figure out if our brain responds differently to fructose versus glucose. And how might this impact our appetite and food choices?

Scientific View

Currently, many studies highlight that sugary beverages lead to weight gain. The main reason for this is that these studies have considered the impact of glucose and fructose together since there was a lack of resources that would help in standardizing the diets of thousands of participants.

To get down to the actual results of fructose versus glucose, scientists collected detailed data from 24 healthy adult participants. There was a study conducted in which scientists randomly assigned participants a 10 oz liquid containing either 2 oz of fructose or glucose.

The analysis was done for the data collected both before and after the participants sipped their sweet drink. The participants were called on later days to receive the drink they didn’t get on day 1. To get better results, the volunteers had to fast both times before having the drinks and follow the same exercise and dietary patterns.

The results of the study were that the participants reported their hunger and desire to eat decreased after both fructose and glucose drinks. Along with these participants’ brain scans and food choices highlight another angle on the same –

1. Blood insulin levels and blood sugar were higher in glucose drinkers than fructose drinkers. This is not such good news as moderately higher insulin and blood sugar levels help our body feel more satiated which is likely to avoid any type of unhealthy eating.

2. Participants who had fructose responded more readily to food pictures as compared to those who had glucose. This suggests that participants may be more motivated to eat after a dose of fructose.

3. Fructose drinkers were more likely to choose food over a delayed money reward compared to glucose drinkers. This implies that after drinking fructose people can subconsciously pick immediately calorie-gratifying choices over long term benefits.

The Results

Though we can analyze from the above study that fructose and glucose affect us differently, we rarely eat fructose and glucose in isolation. The results imply that pure fructose isn’t good for you health-wise. The best way to reduce your intake of fructose is to eat less added sugar.

Diet Advice: You can surely curb your sugar cravings with fresh fruits. Though fruits also contain fructose, the amounts are relatively low. Along with this, fruits contain plenty of fiber to slow down fructose absorption. Further fruit is a natural source for valuable antioxidants, phytochemicals, and vitamins like C, A, folate, and many other nutrients.

Not only this, eating fruits and vegetables is shown to lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and so much more.

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