An article from the University of Copenhagen proposes a question I’m certain many of us have once pondered; is going gluten-free really better?
More and more folks are choosing to cut wheat out of their diets, yet many aren’t allergic or intolerant to gluten. Perhaps some do so in hopes of bettering their overall health and diet in the process, but this fad has researchers wondering if the choice to cut the wheat is really a winning option.
The article states “In an intervention study of healthy Danish adults, reported today in Nature Communications, an international team of scientists shows that a low-gluten but fibre-rich diet changes the community of gut bacteria and decreases gastrointestinal discomfort such as bloating and is linked to a modest weight loss. The changes in intestinal comfort and body weight relate to changes in gut bacteria composition and function.”
Researchers partook in a cross-over trial involving 60 middle-aged, healthy Danish adults. Over the span of eight weeks, the participants followed a “low-gluten diet (2 g gluten per day) and a high-gluten diet (18 g gluten per day), separated by a washout period of at least six weeks with habitual diet (12 g gluten per day).”
Following the study, researchers determined that changing food fermentation patterns of gut bacteria via “low-gluten dieting in healthy people may not be primarily due to reduced intake of gluten itself but rather to a change in dietary fibre composition by reducing fibres from wheat and rye and replacing them with fibres from vegetables, brown rice, corn, oat and quinoa.”
Interesting findings, in my opinion.
Perhaps cutting gluten really does improve digestion for some individuals even if they don’t have any issues with wheat, but speaking from experience, I wouldn’t give it up unless necessary. Gluten-free bread isn’t good, period, and I would kill for some fresh-baked bread.
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