While keeping a strict gluten-free diet is a lifelong necessity for those who suffer from celiac disease, many nowadays are opting for a low-gluten diet only to lose weight. According to a study, published in the journal Nature Communications, people nowadays are choosing for low-gluten or gluten-free foods, even though they are not allergic to gluten, a protein found in wheat. This trend has sparked public debate about whether or not low-gluten diets are recommendable for people without allergies. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have looked into just that.
In an intervention study of healthy Danish adults, 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.
"We found that, in comparison with a high-gluten diet, a low-gluten, fibre-rich diet induces changes in the structure and function of the complex intestinal ecosystem of bacteria, reduces hydrogen exhalation, and leads to improvements in self-reported bloating. Moreover, we observed a modest weight loss, likely due to increased body combustion triggered by the altered gut bacterial functions," explained the leading principal investigator of the trial, Professor Oluf Pedersen.
The researchers undertook a randomised, controlled, cross-over trial involving 60 middle-aged healthy Danish adults with two eight week interventions comparing a low-gluten diet (2g gluten per day) and a high-gluten diet (18g gluten per day), separated by a washout period of at least six weeks with habitual diet (12g gluten per day). The two diets were balanced in number of calories and nutrients including the same amount of dietary fibres. However, the composition of fibres differed markedly between the two diets.
"Most gluten-free food items available on the market today are massively deprived of dietary fibres and natural nutritional ingredients. Therefore, there is an obvious need for availability of fibre-enriched, nutritionally high-quality gluten-free food items, which are fresh or minimally processed to consumers who prefer a low-gluten diet. Such initiatives may turn out to be key for alleviating gastro-intestinal discomfort and in addition to help facilitating weight control in the general population via modification of the gut microbiota", he concluded.
It is always better to prepare gluten-free recipes at home. But remember, if you're making an Indian meal replace your chappati with brown rice, red rice or make a gluten-free chappati with ragi or maize flour (makkai ka atta). If you're cooking a Chinese dish, avoid noodles and use rice instead, which is gluten-free; and for a Continental lunch, replace bread with quinoa, risotto or a gluten-free pasta. You should also avoid asafoetida (heeng), soy sauce, vinegar and any other store-bought masalas and sauces unless you know they are gluten-free.
Here Is A List Of Gluten-Free Recipes To Try You Can Try At Home:
1. Ragi Roti
Ragi is rich in calcium and gluten-free and can be easily used to make chappatis. Fill it up with chopped seasonal veggies to it a flavour spin. This Indian bread is made with ragi flour, carrots and mild spices can be your lunch recipe along with a sabzi of your choice or you can also serve Ragi roti with chutney, dahi or pickle.
Another lovely gluten-free ingredient that is often used during the Navratri fasting season, but why should we have to restrict it only to festivities? Sabudana is available year long and can easily transformed into this wholesome khichdi for lunch.
Avial is a traditional South Indian dish from Kerala. Light, summery stew with lots of veggies cooke din coconut oil and mustard seeds, served with the traditional southern red rice. This could be your ideal meal on a hot day.
Brown is a healthier alternative to your regular white rice and it retains all the essential nutrients in the bran which are lost due to processing. This easy rice dish needs only 30 minutes and is full of flavour!
Choosing a gluten-free diet doesn't mean you have to give up on your favourite foods. All you have to do is to just tweak and experiment in the kitchen and re-invent your favourite dishes.
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