A Delicious, Gluten-Free Waffle and the Benefits of Cutting Out Gluten
7 minute read
With carbohydrates continuing to get a bad reputation these days, many people are looking to keto and gluten-free diets. Removing gluten has additional advantages in that it is a source for allergies and digestive troubles in some individuals.
While carbohydrates are important, cutting back on them can improve certain digestive troubles and improve overall health. The good news is that you can cut gluten from your diet without missing out on good food.
Benefits of Cutting Gluten
Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It is found in most grains, breads, and cereals. Gluten provides elasticity while the food is fermenting but it doesn’t provide any particular benefits to human health.
In fact, it is the source of severe food allergies for those with celiac disease and digestive troubles for many.
Many manufacturers have started to make gluten-free versions of their foods. There seem to be distinct advantages to cutting gluten from your diet.
Improved Cholesterol Levels
Your cholesterol will lower as a result of cutting gluten because you avoid foods that are prone to elevate cholesterol and body fat. Processed foods often contain gluten and by cutting these out, you also cut the amount of saturated fat you intake which can impact cholesterol.
Better Digestive Health
Gluten causes allergic reactions in many people, contributing to digestive discomfort. IBS and leaky gut syndrome are both commonly associated with gluten but can be eliminated by going gluten-free.
Once gluten is out of your diet, you will notice more efficient digestion, optimal nutrient absorption, and more regular bowel movements.
Increased Energy Levels
Because gluten sensitivity can lead to chronic inflammation, your immune system becomes overwhelmed. This can lead to chronic fatigue.
Once the culprit (gluten) is removed and your gut can heal, you will notice higher and more sustained energy levels. Gluten-containing foods also tend to contain sugar and refined carbs, which elevate blood glucose levels.
When you cut these foods from your diet, you no longer have to worry about the sugar spikes and energy crashes associated with these foods.
The reduction in cholesterol associated with gluten-free diets helps to protect your heart. In addition to this, gluten-free foods are often healthier and contain less fat, which makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
Excess carbohydrate consumption— seen in diets containing gluten products—also elevates triglyceride levels which can contribute to high blood pressure and clogged arteries. By losing weight, reducing fat storage, and lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, you are better protected against cardiovascular damage and heart disease.
Reduced Belly Fat
Removing gluten usually means removing carbohydrates (or at least cutting them significantly) and this can help to burn off unwanted belly fat. Fat that accumulates around your organs can be dangerous to your health, but it is also stubborn to get rid of.
Low-carbohydrate or gluten-free diets help to reduce this type of fat, which can lead to weight loss and improved metabolic functioning.
When you cut foods containing gluten, you eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. In doing so, you help to curb your appetite, as these items contain fiber that helps to keep you full.
You also get the advantage of all the essential nutrients, antioxidants, and minerals that are in fruits and vegetables, so your overall health and well-being improves.
Removing gluten when it causes allergies and inflammation saves your immune system from becoming stressed. You also benefit from an immune system boost with the increased intake of fruits and vegetables.
With a stronger immune system, you are better able to ward of bacterial and viral infections.
The inflammation that is triggered by the presence of gluten can spread through your body. This can exacerbate inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
By cutting gluten out, you keep inflammation under control, which means your joints can stay free from inflammation and pain. Studies have found that cutting gluten leads to improved joint health and less arthritic pain.
Reducing inflammation and eating foods that contain antioxidants (instead of gluten-containing foods) helps to protect you from cancer as well as other diseases. Chronic inflammation damages cells and triggers oxidative damage, but gluten-free diets can help to eliminate both of these problems.
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Protecting your cells from free radicals and inflammation is one of the best ways to prevent cancerous cells from developing.
Many think that by cutting carbohydrates or giving up gluten means that your meals will suddenly lose taste. While many of the treats we love are full of refined carbohydrates and sugars, you can still enjoy delicious meals without them.
Recipes like the one below offer gluten-free and keto benefits with great flavor and is a great way to start your day.
1 cup blanched almond flour
2 tbsp erythritol (or any sweetener; use coconut sugar for paleo)
1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or any milk of choice)
2 tbsp avocado oil (or any neutral oil of choice; plus more for frying)
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Preheat an oiled pan on the stove at medium-low heat. Pour circles of batter onto the pan. Cover and cook about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until bubbles start to form on the edges. Flip and cook another minute or until browned on the other side. Repeat with the remaining batter and serve as desired.
The Bottom Line
Whether you give up gluten and carbohydrates to be healthier or because your have a food allergy, cutting carbohydrates and sugars can be a good thing. You still want to make sure you maintain a source of carbohydrates in your diet, as they do provide energy for your cells.
Giving up gluten can deliver a variety of health benefits, and starting off with a gluten-free breakfast will have you energized and ready for the day.