Study Finds Link Between Gluten-Free Diet And Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Gluten free diets and recipes are more popular than ever before. And with more gluten free options available people are avoiding gluten products more and more. But with that said if you talk to most dietitians and doctors they will tell you that a varied diet is a key to being healthy. A new study has found that people who adopt a gluten-free diet or low-gluten diet may be enhancing their risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The major study from Harvard University was recently presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association in Portland. The study reviewed 30 years’ of medical data from 200,000 participants and what they found is that those who had limited their gluten intake or had avoided it gluten completely had a 13 percent greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

The study wanted to determine if a diet with gluten would affect health in people with no obvious medical reasons to avoid gluten. Gluten-free diets and foods often have less dietary fiber and other micronutrients, which makes them less nutritious. A gluten-free diet also tends to cost more as gluten-free products can be quite expensive. Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, barley, rye, and other related grains. Gluten is a protein that gives baked goods their chewy texture and elasticity in the baking process. People who are genuinely gluten intolerant have celiac disease which is an autoimmune condition, where the immune system responds to the gluten protein in the food by attacking the small intestine. Only about one percent of the population is diagnosed as being celiac. In the study, the researchers used data from the Nurses Health Study, where 199,794 people answered several food-related questions every two to four years. They found that the participants consumed on average around 6 to 7 grams of gluten a day.

A gluten-free diet and gluten free recipes can have a variety of health benefits that may include improved cholesterol levels, increased energy levels and promoting digestive health. And while reducing the amount of gluten in your diet might offer health benefits, it seems from this recent study that a diet that still includes a variety of foods to also include gluten can be a good thing. For the small percentage of people who have celiac disease and need to stay away from gluten, there are cost effective and healthy ways to follow a gluten-free diet by seeking out naturally gluten-free food groups. Gluten free food groups can include fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry, fish and seafood, dairy, beans, legumes and nuts. There are a variety of naturally gluten-free grains that people can enjoy in a variety of creative recipes. Many of the grains can be found in your grocery store, with some of the lesser known grains found in health food stores or speciality stores. When someone has celiac disease, it is not recommended to purchase grains that come from bulk bins because of the possibility for cross-contamination with gluten. Most drinks and beverages are gluten-free, which includes juices, sodas, and sports drinks. Most alcoholic beverages, including hard liquor, wines and distilled liquors/hard ciders are also gluten-free. However, beverages such as beers, lagers, ales, malt beverages and malt vinegar that are made from grains that contain gluten are not distilled and therefore are not gluten-free.

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