Of later I’ve noticed that a lot of people seem to be going gluten-free. Should everyone avoid gluten?

Most of my clients are confused when it comes to the gluten issue – whether they should or should not avoid gluten if they do not experience any symptoms.

Ideally you should. Gluten has been shown to have an adverse effect on the gut lining, making it more permeable or weak.

The lining of the gut acts like a barrier and is supposed to be strong and tight, keeping food, waste and microbes inside the digestive tract. Gluten, however, can cause the release of an inflammatory protein called zonulin, which opens up junctions in the lining of the gut, causing gaps to form and thereby allowing particles to leak into the bloodstream (where they don’t belong) and creating an immune response from the body.

This sets the stage for systemic inflammation, which is the root cause – or accelerates the development – of many diseases.

When you avoid crackers, cookies, breads and pastas made with gluten, you are bound to have nourishing, real foods like colourful vegetables and high-quality fats, all of which we don’t get enough of.

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Your genetic and food sensitivity reports may be negative for celiac or gluten allergy but irrespective of that, if you ditch gluten, you can experience an improvement in a lot of aspects like general digestive issues, skin, mood and emotional eating.

This does not mean you can never have gluten, but follow the 80/20 principle with it.

Rashi Chowdhary is a nutritionist, diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.