What is Gluten?

“Gluten Free” is not only a new buzz term going on, thanks to celiac awareness groups and celebrities, but a real medical issue for people who have Celiac disease. 

If someone has celiac disease, he/she must remain 100% gluten free in order to preserve some quality of life and not be very sick every day. Celiac disease is a lifelong autoimmune and digestive disorder, with no known cure. 

Wheat is a food allergy and while gluten is present in wheat, it is not the only place where gluten is present.  Some people are allergic to Wheat- meaning it can KILL them, if they consume it. Celiacs will be very sick for weeks if they consume even a trace amount but anaphylaxis is not common. 

Definition of gluten
Gluten:  A substance present in cereal grains, especially in wheat, which is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. It is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten is found in some cosmetics. It is a “glue like” agent that binds ingredients or elements.  Gluten is the combination of gliadin and glutelin. Gluten is a protein that comes in preparing foods and is an additive to foods that would normally be low in protein. Gluten is also a stabilizing agent in ice cream, ketchup, soy sauce, and beer.
According to recent research, OATS are gluten free. Avenin is the protein in oats, which acts similarly to gluten, but not all people have a problem processing that protein.

Hidden Gluten Chart
Soy Sauce
Most Soy Sauce contains wheat. Wheat has gluten. There are some wheat free soy sauces on the market but you must always read the labels.
Salad Dressings
Most salad dressings use gluten as a thickening agent. The US is more prone to this than most countries. Read the labels.
Sauces and Marinades
This falls similarly into the above category. Most store bought sauces contain gluten, which they use as a thickening agent and preservation agent. If you cannot buy it at a grocery store in plain form, I recommend not buying it.
Canned soups contain gluten unless specified by a certified company.
Bread Crumbs
There are certain products on the market that are labeled Gluten Free, and if an expert certifies them as a gluten free company, you could likely trust it. Most bread crumbs will have gluten.
Pudding and Pie fillings
I haven’t met a pudding or pie mix that I trusted yet. There are numerous dangerous products. I recommend using fresh ingredients for desserts.
Reduced Fat Products
Starches are used to make the product stick together better. Often gluten is not listed in plain form.
Processed Meats or Imitation Meats
Cold cuts, hot dogs, sausages are all processed meats and most have starch in them containing gluten. If you are vegetarian and gluten free you could be in trouble if you are trying to use imitation meats. Mock duck, chicken, fish, pork, and beef are highly likely to contain gluten in order to bind ingredients and give them that meat flavor.
Processed Meals and Fast Food
Doctors recommend avoiding these food at all times because there are too many hidden components in them that contain certain starches where gluten is present.

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1 comment:

  1. I have a sensitivity to wheat products, but also to rice. Is there gluten in rice, or introduced to rice through its processing?


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