The big question about Gluten…is it bad for me?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and sometimes oats. This protein is what gives most bread, pasta, pastries & foods alike that stretchy, soft yummy texture. However, there is no nutritional value to gluten. On the other hand, this delicious ingredient comes at a price.
There is a nutritional value to eating wheat products, however, when the body is oversaturated with Gluten it can result in the development of Celiac disease and/or gluten sensitivity. The reason being is the body can’t recognize this protein as food; meaning it can’t process, metabolize or use it for energy. Therefore, the body stores this protein into the fatty tissue cells with all the other toxins and free-radicals. Eventually, these toxins will develop into diseases like celiac disease, diabetes, organ malfunction, allergies and many other less obvious illnesses.
While all these diseases are serious, celiac disease is the most common in connection to Gluten. Approximately 1 in 133 Americans have Celiac Disease. According to WebMD, Celiac disease is caused by “an abnormal immune response to gluten, it can damage the lining of the small intestine. That, in turn, can prevent important nutrients from being absorbed.” Symptoms are not always noticeable with celiac disease. If you experience severe skin rashes, bone pain, diarrhea, have anemia and you think you may have celiac disease, please see a doctor immediately and get a blood test. Celiac disease is a serious condition and can lead to death.
If you are gluten sensitive, you may experience bloating, cramping, diarrhea, digestive issues, food and environmental allergies. In this case, avoid gluten products as much as possible. Keep in mind that “grains” are not a food group of its own, it is part of a food group. You will never hear a doctor say you are “bread deficient”; avoiding bread, rice and pasta will help the body feel better. To maintain a good array of vitamins, minerals, and fiber in your diet substitute wheat products with quinoa, amaranth, corn, millet, and buckwheat, these are naturally gluten-free. When purchasing processed foods, always read the nutritional label and check the ingredients. Also, consider taking vitamin supplements and a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber.
GLUTEN GLOSSARY - AVOID CONSUMING THESE INGREDIENTS
These ingredients may contain gluten or are made with gluten-containing products.
Amino peptide complex
Amp-isostearoyl hydrolyzed wheat protein
Avena sativa (oat) flour
Avena sativa (oat) flour kernel
Disodium wheatgermamido PEG-2 sulfosuccinateH
Hordeum vulgare (barley) extract
Hyrdrolyzed wheat gluten
Hydrolyzed wheat protein
Sodium lauroyl oat amino acids
Triticum vulgare (wheat) flour lipids
Triticum vulgare (wheat) germ extract
Triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil
Vitamin E (make sure it's not derived from wheat)
Wheat (triticum vulgare) bran extract
Wheat amino acids
Wheat bran extract
Wheat germ extracts
Wheat germ glycerides
Wheat germ oil
Wheat germamidopropyldimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed wheat protein
Hydrolyzed wheat protein PG-propyl silanetriol
Hydrolyzed wheat starch
Hydroxpropyltrimonium hydrolyzed wheat protein
Oat (avena sativa) extract
Oat beta glucan
Sources: WebMD, Women’s Health, Celiac Disease - About.com