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Going ‘gluten-free’ may not be all that good for you

Washington: A word of advice for those who are on gluten free diet. Eating less of wheat, rye and barley may increase the risk of developing diabetes.

Gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, gives bread and other baked goods elasticity during the baking process and a chewy texture in finished products.

The findings indicated that 20 percent of individuals consumed gluten and had 13 percent lower risk of developing Type-2 diabetes in comparison to those with the lowest daily gluten consumption.

The research would be presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Sessions.

“We wanted to determine if gluten consumption will affect health in people with no apparent medical reasons to avoid gluten,” said a researcher Geng Zong from Harvard University’s t.h. chan school of public health in Boston, Massachusetts.

“Gluten-free foods often have less dietary fiber and other micronutrients, making them less nutritious and they also tend to cost more. People without Celiac disease may reconsider limiting their gluten intake for chronic disease prevention, especially for diabetes,” Zong added.

The researchers estimated daily gluten intake for 199,794 participants in three long-term health studies — the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHSII) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS).

The average daily gluten intake in grams was 5.8 g/d for NHS, 6.8 g/d for NHSII, and 7.1 g/d for HPFS, and major dietary sources were pastas, cereals, pizza, muffins, pretzels and bread.

The researchers found that most of the participants had gluten intake below 12 grams/day and within this range, those who ate the most gluten had lower Type 2 diabetes risk during thirty years of follow-up.

The results suggested that over the course of the study, which included 4.24 million person-years of follow-up , 15,947 cases of Type 2 diabetes were confirmed. (ANI)