A new study shows that gluten-free diets can reduce bloating and help weight loss, but it’s not necessarily advised to opt for gluten-free products. Here’s why.
While keeping a strict gluten-free diet is a lifelong necessity for allergic people, these days, a lot of people are choosing a low-gluten diet, even though they are not allergic to the dietary substance. This trend has sparked public debate about whether or not low-gluten diets are recommendable for people without allergies. Researchers from University of Copenhagen among others have looked into just that. The findings have been reported in the journal Nature Communications.
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 demonstrate 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.
Change in dietary fibre composition seems to be the cause
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 (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).
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.
Based on their observations of altered food fermentation patterns of the gut bacteria, the researchers conclude that the effects of 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.
No basis for change of diet recommendation yet
A low-gluten diet has previously been proposed to diminish gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases and irritable bowel syndrome, disorders which occur in up to 20% of the general Western population. The present study suggests that even some healthy individuals may prefer a low-gluten diet to combat intestinal discomfort or excess body weight.
“More long-term studies are definitely needed before any public health advice can be given to the general population. Especially, because we find dietary fibres — not the absence of gluten alone — to be the primary cause of the changes in intestinal discomfort and body weight. By now we think that our study is a wake-up call to the food industry. Gluten-free may not necessarily be the healthy choice many people think it is,” said Pedersen.
“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.
Deficiency Of B Vitamins: Top Symptoms To Watch Out For
Vitamin B is an important vitamin for the health of your cells and keeping you energised. There are different kinds of Vitamin B and all of them perform different functions. What’s more is that different types of Vitamin Bs come from different types of foods. Vitamin B 12 is primarily found in meat and dairy products. Fruits and vegetables essentially provide Vitamin B7 and Vitamin B9. And just like deficiency of other vitamins, Vitamin B deficiency too can lead to various health problems. Pregnant women, older adults or people with Crohn’s disease or Celiac disease are at risk of being deficient in Vitamin B.
In this article, we talk about common symptoms of being deficient in B Vitamins and how can you make up for it. Keep reading…
1. Vitamin B1 and B2
People who misuse alcohol may experience confusion and cracks on the sides of mouth in case they are deficient in Vitamin B1 and B2. These vitamins are also known as thiamine and riboflavin respectively. Vitamin B1 and B2 can help in converting food into energy and maintain eye health. Dark green veggies, eggs, milk and whole grains are rich sources of Vitamin B1 and B2.
2. Vitamin B12
Deficiency of Vitamin B12 can increase risks of anaemia. In the long term, Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to depression, dementia and paranoia. Symptoms include feeling extreme fatigue, weakness, irritability and tingling in feet and hands. You can increase your Vitamin B12 intake by including more eggs in your diet. Other food sources include fish, cheese and milk.
3. Vitamin B9
Vitamin B9 is also known as folate and its deficiency can cause anaemia or diarrhoea. Folate is extremely important for pregnant women. Its deficiency can lead to babies born with birth defects, reports healthline. Citrus fruits, beetroot, fish, whole grains, leafy green veggies and legumes are all rich in Vitamin B9.
4. Vitamin B3
Including Vitamin B3 in your diet can help convert food into energy and also aid digestion and a healthy appetite. Lacking Vitamin B3 or niacin, can cause digestion issues like cramps in the abdomen and nausea. Chicken, peanuts, whole grains like wheat and barley and fish can help you have sufficient Vitamin B3.
5. Vitamin B6
Deficiency of Vitamin B6 can increase risks of skin disorders like rash or cracks around the mouth. It can also result in anemia, confusion, depression and nausea. Food sources of Vitamin B6 include tuna, salmon, chickpeas, whole grains, chicken breast, potatoes, spinach and watermelon.
The Many Benefits Of Chewing Food Properly: A Very Underrated Lifestyle Habit But The Effect It Can Have Is Eye-Opening
The key to healthy living is a combination of numerous dos and don’ts. What you eat, the time when you eat and even how you eat are important aspects of living healthy. You might never have paid attention to chewing your food, but believe it or not, it can actually reduce your calorie intake! Lifestyle coach Luke Coutinho says that chewing food properly can have a huge impact on digestion, gut health, immunity, weight and nutritional deficiencies. “Chewing is one of the most underrated habits, however, it has a massive impact on our health,” he says.
He goes on to explain how most of us think that are digestion begins in the gut. However, the truth is that the very first step of digestion takes place in the mouth itself. “When we chew, we allow our saliva to mix with food. This is crucial because our saliva is rich in digestive enzymes, particularly the ones responsible for digesting fats and carbohydrates. Chewing also breaks down food into smaller chunks thereby taking off the load from your stomach. It creates a feeling of satiety because by chewing, you are also doing mindful eating,” explains Luke.
What’s more is that when you chew every bite of your food properly, you are likely to get more satisfaction from your meals. Chewing food properly is one of the first essential steps for proper digestion of food. Chewing food can help you swallow food easily. When you chew food multiple times in your mouth, it leaves food small enough for the gastric juices in stomach to further break it down to microscopic size.
More benefits of chewing food properly
1. When you focus on chewing food, you are going to concentrate on what you’re eating. It will help you enjoy the aroma of food and eat food slowly. Eating food is going to be a much more pleasurable experience in this case.
2. Chewing food will make the food be in contact with your taste buds for longer. This can help boost feeling of fullness and satisfaction, reports WebMd.
3. The process of chewing food properly is a part of mindful eating. It is a practice which can reduce the amount food you eat in any meal. Mindful eating involves eating food without any distraction like television, book or newspaper. All these practices can make you overeat unconsciously.
If you are a fast-paced eater, this is one of the first lifestyle change you should adopt, recommends Luke. No matter how busy you are, it is one of the most basic habits for good health, especially gut health – which, according to him, is everything when it comes to prevention and healing.
(Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach – Integrative Medicine)
Pact to find solutions to asthma, other diseases inked
A PACT was inked on Thursday between city-based Chest Research Foundation (CRF) with India subsidiary of global innovation company, 3M India, to collaborate on a research study that will generate data for providing solutions to reduce increasing cases of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) and occupational lung diseases.
Based on academic research and industrial expertise, the study will focus on raising awareness among more than 3,500 pulmonologists in India about management, prevention and long-term impact of chronic and occupational lung diseases.
Globally, respiratory diseases are the third leading cause of death worldwide, and India bears 32 per cent of the global burden of respiratory diseases. An alarming number of cases are reported every year about chronic respiratory diseases and high pollution levels across cities in India. Studies have indicated that the number of COPD and asthma cases were 1.7 and 2.4 times higher in India than the global average in 2016.
“Owing to a lack of data, infrastructure and skills at the primary and secondary healthcare levels, a majority of the asthma and COPD cases remain undiagnosed, and hence it is of utmost importance to educate the medical fraternity and citizens to enhance early and accurate diagnosis, and proper treatment,” said Dr Sundeep Salvi, director, Chest Research Foundation.
Salvi added, “The number of patients suffering from COPD and asthma in India is alarming. Along with the deteriorating air quality in our cities, this number is increasing yearly.”
Debarati Sen, managing director, 3M India Region (India and Sri Lanka), said their interest in the subject stemmed from 30 years of experience in working with industrial labour in India. Sen added that they recognised a compelling need to raise awareness on using the right apparatus. “Globally, 3M has conducted studies and research in the areas of air pollution, ill effects of exposure and on ways to protect against exposure to pollutants, making this collaboration symbiotic,” Sen added.