“Gluten” has become a buzzword in recent years as gluten-free products hit grocery store shelves and people board the gluten-free diet train.
If you’ve heard the terms “celiac disease” or “gluten intolerance”, you probably know that many people have problems with this protein, which is naturally found in many foods. Or maybe you’ve heard of people who avoid gluten in order to lose weight. We know gluten is a “problem”. But what exactly is gluten? And should everyone avoid that? We spoke to experts to find out. Here’s what you should know.
What is gluten
Gluten is a naturally occurring protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale, a newer grain that is a cross between wheat and rye. Gluten protein is created by combining two molecules –Glutenin and gliadin-that when mixed with water it forms a structural network. This structure gives pasta a crack, pizza crust a toughness, and cakes a spring. Gluten means glue in Latin, and that is exactly what this protein does for food.
Gluten is commonly associated with bread, cereal, pasta, baked goods, and beer, but the list is hardly complete. Because of its ability to bind Gluten is also found in many soups, sauces, and salad dressings. With gluten appearing in so many unexpected places, people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease need to be familiar with reading labels.
Related: What Is Glyphosate?
Signs of gluten intolerance
Gluten intolerance is also referred to as non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Tina Patnode, a registered nutritionist who specializes in gut health, says uUnderstanding gluten intolerance means understanding celiac disease first, even though it’s not the same thing.
Patnode explains that there is a distinct difference between celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, also known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity. “Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which gluten damages the intestinal lining. A strict, lifelong, gluten-free diet is the only treatment for celiac disease. ”
Functional nutritionist Jen Dreisch says that a person is gluten intolerant many of the same reactions as a person with celiac diseasebut they don’t have that Autoimmune reaction and “the antibodies that attack your body”. Reactions can look like this:
- a headache
- Pain in the stomach
- Pain in the joints
- Neurological problems
- Weight loss
Dreisch adds that so much of a person’s gluten tolerance has to do with a healthy microbiome, and she uses that GI card (microbe test plus) Test for the detection of parasites, bacteria and fungi as well as some viral pathogens. She also recommends that MRI (Mediator Release Test) This is a blood test that quantifies a person’s inflammatory response to both food and chemicals in food. The MRI not only shows you which foods to avoid, it also tells you which foods are best for your body.
Connected: Getting Gluten Free: Hype or Help?
What’s gluten in?
As mentioned earlier, gluten is found in the common suspects – bread, cereal, pasta, and baked goods – but it’s also found in many unexpected places like soups, sauces, sauces, and condiments as it acts as a thickener.
Another example of this? Many people assume that meat is gluten-free. Meat is naturally gluten-free regardless of what the animal eats, but gluten is found in many processed meats. Beyond Celiac Disease points out that breaded, breaded, or floured meat contains gluten when made with wheat-based products, and since many marinades also contain gluten, it is important to watch out for soy and teriyaki sauces that are not wheat-free. In addition, wheat-free doesn’t mean gluten-free. The Foundation for Celiac Disease is an excellent resource for learning how to read labels.
Connected: Gluten-free cup cake recipes
What is a gluten-free diet?
Eating gluten-free is easier than ever, but eating a healthy gluten-free diet doesn’t mean burdening yourself with gluten substitutes. Gluten-free bread, pasta, cookies, etc. make life easier for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, but they are often high in sugar, trans fats and additives that make a “fake food” mimic real food.
Dr. Mark Hyman, Director of Strategy and Innovation at Cleveland Clinic, explains that a gluten-free diet isn’t necessarily a healthy diet. Hyman asks us not to shoot the messenger, but says: “Gluten-free cupcakes and cookies are still cupcakes and cookies. Apart from the fact that the content of sugar and other junk ingredients is usually higher, the claim “gluten-free” creates a health halo, so that you often reach for seconds and thirds. “
Healthy now newsletter
Get good vibes and health tips straight to your inbox!
Dr. Mark Hyman – like Patnode, Dreisch, and most nutritionists – encourages people to eat a wholesome diet and limit or avoid processed foods. Instead of looking for foods labeled gluten free, do some research full, plant-based recipes prepare with fruit, vegetables and gluten-free cereals.
Next, see how health and wellness will look different in 2020.