Gluten In The Us Today
As late as the mid 1990s, many doctors and researchers still didnt recognize a significant amount of celiac cases in the US. In 2003, a study by Alessio Fasano, the director of Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General, showed celiac disease to affect one percent of the US population. This figure was ten times higher than previously thought and sent the medical research into overdrive in the US.
Every week seemed to produce a new study on gluten sensitivity suggesting that a gluten-free diet may benefit many patients with various health issues. Studies showed there was maybe a link between gluten and schizophrenia with other reports showing an association between gluten and autism . Gluten-free diets were said to benefit many patients from diabetics and multiple sclerosis sufferers to individuals who showed signs of autism and schizophrenia.
As medical research preached of the benefits of gluten-free diets, gluten gained its own celebrity status with many Hollywood stars and entertainers starting to extol the virtues of cutting gluten from their lifestyles.
Are There Different Types Of Gluten
Weve already mentioned that there are two primary types of gluten found in wheat, but what about glutens found in rye and barley? The term gluten applies to a wide variety of specific proteins found in each of the three so-called gluten grains.
The two main types of gluten found in wheat are gliadins and glutenins. Within the gliadin class of proteins, there are four different epitopes :
When you consume wheat-based food products, enzymes in the digestive tract known as tissue transglutaminase work to break down the wheat component of the food. In the process, other proteins like deamidated gliadin and gluteomorphins are formed. Celiac disease is a reaction to alpha-gliadin and a particular form of tTG, but the human body can develop a negative reaction to any of the various types of gluten protein and transglutaminases.
Still, the question remains are there different types of gluten in different grains?
The type of gluten found in rye is called secalin and the gluten found in barley is called hordein. What you need to know is that both of these glutens contain the protein fraction gliadin. So, essentially, negative reactions to protein from different gluten grains are all caused by the same type of protein.
How To Find Gluten In Foods
Gluten is a protein found in the grains wheat, barley, and rye. These so-called “gluten grains” are everywhere in our food supply, in part because they taste good, and in part because they’re useful in formulating processed foods.
Food manufacturers use gluten in many different ways, some of which are much more obvious than others. For example, many food additives are derived from gluten-containing grains. Food flavorings, artificial and natural colors, and even some vitamin supplements may contain gluten.
The decision to go gluten-free can be daunting because gluten grains are so prevalent. In fact, even foods that don’t directly contain gluten may be subject to cross-contamination because they are manufactured around other foods that do.
If you want to avoid gluten in your diet, you’ll need to check the ingredients of every food product you use. In addition, you’ll need to learn how to identify gluten on food labels and the various places gluten can hide.
It’s certainly possible to follow the gluten-free diet but to do so, you need to know the foods that have gluten.
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Foods To Avoid With A Gluten Intolerance
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Many people avoid gluten, a group of proteins found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye, due to personal preference or a medical condition .
Celiac disease, wheat allergy, and non-celiac gluten sensitivity all involve an adverse reaction to gluten and are treated with a gluten-free diet. These conditions are considered forms of gluten intolerance .
While both celiac disease and NCGS may lead to intestinal damage and cause symptoms like diarrhea, gas, and bloating, celiac is an autoimmune condition linked to other serious health effects, such as anemia, stunted growth, and neurological effects .
Wheat allergy refers to an allergic reaction to wheat proteins, the symptoms of which may be life threatening. This condition is treated with a wheat-free diet, not necessarily a gluten-free diet .
Although people with wheat allergies must avoid wheat, most are able to eat other grains, including gluten-containing ones like barley and rye.
Meanwhile, people with celiac disease and NCGS must avoid all gluten-containing foods to control symptoms. Notably, many healthy foods are naturally gluten-free, and quite a few companies make scrumptious gluten-free products.
Here are 8 foods to avoid if you have a gluten intolerance, as well as 7 you can safely eat.
Foods That Contain Gluten
Because wheat has gluten in it, foods made with wheat flourbreads, cookies, cakes, donuts, rolls, bagels, muffins, scones, and other pastries, plus conventional pasta and pizza, along with many cerealsall contain gluten.
Wheat can appear on ingredients labels under many different words, including flour, bread flour, wheat flour, white flour, whole wheat flour, pasta, bulgur, spelt, and kamut. Any of those words on a food label indicate the food isn’t safe for someone on the gluten-free diet.
But there are other foods that contain gluten that you might not expect.
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What Does Gluten Do
Gas contained within a dough or batter helps the baked goods rise.
The gas occurs when bread dough is kneaded.
Most, but not all, flours contain gluten in different amounts.
Bread flour has a high gluten content and is therefore good for yeast-based breads, which need an elastic framework to rise.
However, low-protein cake flour has a softer, less elastic quality and is better for cakes.
Is It Possible To Bake Without Gluten
Gluten provides structure and chewiness, but it’s also the only way to create light, airy baked goods. That’s because, without gluten, bread won’t rise. This is why, if you’ve ever tried gluten-free bread, they’re so heavy and dense. They’re really just lumps of starch.
That doesn’t mean that grains that have little or no gluten aren’t used in baking. It’s just that they need a little helpin the form of wheat flour. Rye bread typically contains more wheat flour than rye flour. Corn also lacks gluten, which is why cornbread is made from about half cornmeal, half wheat flour.
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What Can I Eat On A Gluten
If you have been diagnosed with sensitivity or perhaps even celiac disease, you do not have to bury your head in the sand right away. While just a few years ago it was extremely difficult to live with a gluten intolerance and to adapt your diet to it, there are already enough alternatives available today not to have to do without anything.
But just because you have a gluten intolerance does not mean that you have to give up cereals altogether. There are plenty of gluten-free cereals, such as buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth or millet. If you are affected, it is important to make sure that the products are really gluten-free when you buy them. Otherwise it is possible that the products have come into contact with other products containing gluten during processing. So you should pay close attention here!
Most Breads Crackers And Wraps
Most breads, crackers, and wraps contain gluten. The only way to know for sure is to read the ingredient list and check to see which grains are used.
If you have a gluten intolerance, avoid the following:
- white bread
- malt vinegar
As an alternative, you can make your own condiments from gluten-free ingredients or purchase ones that are certified gluten-free.
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What Is Gluten Intolerance
Gluten is a kind of protein that is found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is often found in foods that use these ingredients, but it can also be found in medicines, vitamins, and supplements that use small amounts of these ingredients. Gluten intolerance, also called gluten sensitivity, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or non-celiac wheat sensitivity, is a disorder where your body reacts badly to eating gluten.
In some ways, gluten intolerance is similar to celiac disease, a condition in which eating gluten causes symptoms. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that is hereditary .
An autoimmune disease is a condition that occurs when the bodys immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the bodys tissue. In celiac disease, gluten causes a reaction that destroys the lining of the small intestines. This reduces the area for absorbing virtually all nutrients.
A gluten intolerance can cause problems with your digestive system, but it wont cause permanent damage to your stomach, intestine, or other organs. However, gluten intolerance is similar to celiac disease, a condition that can cause permanent damage to your small intestine, so you should talk to a gastroenterologist if you think you might have gluten intolerance.
Myth : Leads To Obesity
It is known that unhealthy foods contain a record amount of complex proteins. Most of them are in wheat buns, which are used for the production of fast food. This food is harmful and high in calories in itself. And if you, for example, eat a couple of slices of whole-grain bread for breakfast, then obesity will not threaten you.
You can identify intolerance by observing your body and noting the following symptoms:
- Digestion difficulties. Abdominal pain, flatulence, constipation, or diarrhea are noted after eating.
- Irritation or goosebumps on the back of the hands.
- Dizziness, tired feeling.
- Infertility diagnosis for unknown reasons.
- Joint pain.
- Emotional and mental disorders.
Such signs do not at all indicate directly that you have an intolerance. To make a diagnosis, you should consult a doctor and carry out a series of tests. Usually, in medical practice, if there is a suspicion of celiac disease, genetic and histological tests, as well as an immunological blood test, should be prescribed.
If you have been diagnosed with celiac disease, then you need to avoid gluten-containing foods.
Today, there are many products on the shelves labeled Gluten Free. But if in doubt, then you should pay attention to the composition indicated on the package. Gluten can be referred to as modified food starch or hydrolyzed protein.
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Which Types Of Rice Are Gluten
Rice in its pure form is gluten-free. This whole grain is available in many varieties, all of which differ in nutritional content and health benefits.
You may need to use a specific type of rice to follow a recipe. Some types of rice are better used for certain purposes. If you are picking a rice without a recipe in mind, choose unrefined rice to increase your meals nutritional content.
Heres some nutritional information about three popular types of gluten-free rice.
Alternative Names For Gluten
The following terms represent the most commonly used Latin terms for wheat, barley, and rye. If you see any of these, the product contains gluten:
- Triticum vulgare
- Pasta: Made from wheat unless otherwise indicated
- Seitan: Made from wheat gluten and commonly used in vegetarian meals
- Wheat or barley grass: Will be cross-contaminated
- Wheat germ oil or extract: Will be cross-contaminated
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Why Is Gluten Bad
Gluten doesnt get along with every digestive system. Some people have wheat intolerance syndrome. Thats one of three conditions that gluten can trigger:
- Celiac disease: A disorder in which gluten causes your immune system to attack your small intestine over time, the attacks can damage the lining of your intestine.
- Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: Also called gluten intolerance, the condition causes celiac symptoms — like stomach pain, bloating, and diarrhea — but doesnt damage your small intestine.
- Wheat allergy: Your immune system fights gluten like a virus or bacteria if you eat it, you may have trouble breathing, a skin reaction, or problems digesting.
Going gluten-free is also a trend among people who dont have medical reasons to avoid the stuff. Some people say they lost weight and gained energy when they cut gluten. But, theres not much scientific evidence to prove that a gluten-free diet offers health benefits to people who can tolerate the ingredient.
Specially Made Gluten Free Products
You can buy commercially prepared gluten-free products, including:
- condiments, including soy and other sauces, mayonnaise, yeast extract spreads
- corn chips
- muesli bars and other snack bars
- pancake mix
- stock and gravy.
Always check the labels of foods and drinks carefully, as gluten can sometimes be contained in products you might think are safe.
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The Anatomy Of Gluten
At its simplest form, gluten is the name given to a family of proteins found in grain like wheat, rye, barley and oats. Derived from the Latin word for glue, gluten proteins when mixed with water create a glue-like stickiness. This glue-like property gives elasticity to the dough and enables bread to rise when baked giving a satisfying chewy texture.
Gluten protein is made up of two smaller proteins known as peptides. One of the peptides is glutenin and the other peptide is the harmful one responsible for the development of celiac symptoms. In wheat this harmful peptide is called gliadin, in rye it is secalin, hordein in barley, and in oats it is avenin. These grains are often referred to by the acronym WBRO in the order of their toxicity, as coined by the Celiac Sprue Association of the USA.
Celiac disease can be triggered by any of the four grains, but normally when referring to gluten, people most likely mean wheat gluten. Gluten makes up 80 percent of the protein in wheat. Gliadin, the harmful peptide found in wheat, is responsible for most of the negative health effects of gluten.
Tips For Following A Gluten
Here are steps to take when getting gluten out of your diet.
Rethink your grains:
Avoid all products with barley, rye, triticale , farina, graham flour, semolina, and any other kind of flour, including self-rising and durum, not labeled gluten-free.
Be careful of corn and rice products. These dont contain gluten, but they can sometimes be contaminated with wheat gluten if they’re produced in factories that also manufacture wheat products. Look for such a warning on the package label.
Go with oats. Recent studies suggest you can eat oats as long as they are not contaminated with wheat gluten during processing. You should check with your healthcare provider first.
Substitute potato, rice, soy, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, or bean flour for wheat flour. You can also use sorghum, chickpea or Bengal gram, arrowroot, and corn flour, as well as tapioca starch extract. These act as thickeners and leavening agents.
Become a label expert:
Know terms for hidden gluten. Avoid einkorn, emmer, spelt, kamut, wheat starch, wheat bran, wheat germ, cracked wheat, and hydrolyzed wheat protein. Stay away from emulsifiers, dextrin, mono- and di-glycerides, seasonings, and caramel colors because they can contain gluten.
Check the labels of all foods. Gluten can be found in food items youd never suspect. Here are some likely to contain gluten:
Beer, ale, and lagers
Cold cuts, hot dogs, salami, and sausage
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