There is a lot of confusion out there about what exactly gluten is and whether or not you should be eating it. What are the benefits of a gluten free diet and is it worth the cost of more expensive food? Here at PumpFit Club, we care deeply about helping individuals live a healthier lifestyle, both in and out of the gym. With that in mind, these are the top things you should know about gluten:

What is Gluten?

Many individuals are surprised to learn that gluten is actually a protein. More specifically, it’s actually composed a combination of two proteins: gliadin and glutenin. Basically, gluten is responsible for giving dough its elastic texture. There are three main categories of food in which gluten can be found, wheat, rye, and barley. This means gluten is found in many different foods such as bread, cereal, soup, pasta, salad dressings, and even in beer.

Those With Celiac Disease

There are a group of individuals who suffer from an illness called “celiac disease” which, triggers an excessive immune system response to gluten. It is estimated that around 1% of Americans suffer from celiac disease. This means that consuming gluten is clearly off the table for individuals with this disease. Those who suffer from celiac disease can get skin rashes, anemia, and even joint pain as a result of eating gluten. These individuals should do their best to eat only gluten-free foods.

Those Without Celiac Disease

There are some individuals who are more sensitive to gluten than other individuals, although they do not necessarily have celiac disease. These individuals may feel better if they cut gluten from their diet.

However, the vast majority of Americans are not sensitive to gluten and have no problem processing it. This means, for most people, there is really no medical or fitness related reasons for going gluten-free. In fact, by going gluten-free, you may be giving up on foods that are actually considered healthy such as whole-wheat bread, healthy breakfast cereals, and other grains such as oat meal.

Gluten itself is pretty much nutritionally neutral. It does not have any special nutritional benefits but it does not have any negative nutritional effects either. Also, because it’s a protein, eliminating gluten from your diet is not likely to help you lose weight.

If you are interested in more fitness advice, or you want to try one of our fitness classes for free, contact PumpFit Club today.