While keeping a strict gluten-free diet is a lifelong necessity for allergic people, many people today choose a low-fat diet,…
While keeping a strict gluten-free diet is a lifelong necessity for allergic people, many people today choose a low-fat diet, even if they are not allergic to the diet. This trend has triggered a public debate on whether low-fat diets are recommended for people without allergies. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have looked at it. The results have been reported in the journal Nature Communications.
In an intervention study of healthy Danish adults, an international team of researchers shows that a low-fat but fiber-rich diet changes the community of intestinal bacteria and reduces gastrointestinal discomfort as bloating and is associated with a modest weight loss. The changes in intestinal comfort and body weight are related to changes in the composition and function of intestinal bacteria.
“We show that in comparison to a high-end diet, a low-fiber-rich diet provides a change in the structure and function of the complex intestinal ecosystem of bacteria, reduces hydrogen vaporization and leads to improvements in self-reported bloating. In addition, a modest weight loss was observed, probably due to increased body combustion triggered by the altered intestinal bacterial functions, “explained the chief investigator of the trial, Professor Oluf Pedersen.
Changing dietary fiber composition seems to be the reason
The researchers committed a randomized, controlled cross-over trial of 60 middle-aged healthy Danish adults with two eight-week interventions comparing a low-fat diet (2 g gluten per day) and a high gluten diet (1
8 g gluten per day), separated by a dilution period of at least six weeks with normal diet (12 g gluten per day).
The two diets were balanced in the number of calories and nutrients, including the same amount of dietary fiber. The composition of fibers, however, differed significantly between the two diets.
On the basis of their observations of altered matriculation patterns of the intestinal bacteria, researchers find that the effects of low fat dieting in healthy people may not be due primarily to reduced intake of gluten in themselves, but rather to a change in dietary fiber composition by reducing the fibers from wheat and rye and replacing those with vegetables from vegetables, brown rice, corn, oats and quinoa.
No reason for change of diet recommendation than
A low-fat diet has previously been proposed to reduce gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome, disorders occurring in up to 20% of the general western population. The present study suggests that even some healthy individuals may prefer a laryngendendite to fight intestinal discomfort or obesity.
“More long-term studies are absolutely necessary before public health can be given to the public. In particular, because we find dietary fiber – not the lack of gluten alone – to be the main reason for the changes in intestinal discomfort and body weight. Now, we think our study is an alarm clock for the food industry. Gluten-free may not necessarily be the healthy choice many think it is, says Pedersen.
“Most gluten-free foods available on the market today are massively deprived of dietary fiber and natural nutrients. Therefore, there is a clear need for access to fiber-rich, nutritionally high quality gluten-free foods that are fresh or minimally processed to consumers who prefer a low gluten diet. Such initiatives may prove crucial to alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort and in addition to facilitating weight control in the public through modification of the intestinal microbiotics, “he concluded.
First Published: November 17, 2018, 15:08, IST