Friday, August 22, 2008

What is Gluten?

"What is gluten?" is a question people ask me when I tell them our family is gluten free. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It is composed of the proteins gliadin and glutenin. Most mainstream cereals, bread and packaged snacks contain gluten unless they are labeled "gluten free" or made of rice or potatoes. Gluten makes kneaded bread elastic and is responsible for the chewy texture of bagels. The tricky part about being gluten free is avoiding the hidden gluten in most processed food and in some very surprising foods. Soy sauce, twizzlers, rice crispies and Rice Dream rice milk (labeled "gluten free") all contain gluten. And most "wheat free" products are made with spelt, durum, semolina, kamut, couscous and triticale which all contain gluten. Some grains that don't have gluten are: rice, corn, buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, amaranth and tapioca. Oats that are not labeled "gluten free" can be contaminated with gluten because of crop rotation. Other foods that may contain hidden gluten are: MSG, textured vegetable protein and modified food starch.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease (like lupus, arthritis and diabetes) triggered by gluten which interferes with the absorption of nutrients. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness says "Failure to thrive during childhood development is a common indicator of celiac." A gluten free diet is the treatment for celiac disease. But there are many reports of people who don't test positive for celiac recovering from chronic conditions such as autism, psoriasis, schizophrenia, Crohn's disease, sensory integration disorder, iron deficient anemia, depression and arthritis. And there are also reports of people who don't test positive for celiac, who later turn out to have celiac. So, many people with chronic conditions can benefit from a gluten free diet.


Anonymous said...

I have been tested for Celiac disease and was negitive and just this past Monday I said to my cousin if you test negitive could you be allergic and it not show on your blood test.
And to day I read on this page it is possible to test negitive to find out later to be positive.
I bloat gain weight and feel terrible when I eat food the only time I feel good and not feel heavy is when I eat only fruit and drink alot of water and don't eat anything that is like bread. I eat a salad with GF dressing.
I didn't know that Rice Milk had gluten in it, it states right on the cartoon and I know because I have it in my fridg. Gluten Free.
It is scary that this is so hard to control with Gluten being in so much stuff.
I look forward to viewing your page and getting much needed advise. I told my family that even if my blood test came back negitive I was still eating GF.

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Gluten Free Diet Foods said...

This is the best way to know regarding gluten. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It is composed of the proteins gliadin and glutenin. Thanks...

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The Healthy Apple said...

YOU are amazing and a wealth of information! So happy to have you in my life as my best friend.

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