What you need to know about Gluten

Today I’m discussing the controversial topic of gluten, what is it?

Let’s start with gluten:

Gluten is a protein found in many grains, including wheat, barley and rye. It's common in foods such as bread, pasta, pizza and cereal. Gluten provides no essential nutrients. People with celiac disease have an immune reaction that is triggered by eating gluten.

There are also people described as "gluten-sensitive." Their tests for celiac disease are negative (normal) and yet they get symptoms (including bloating, diarrhea or cramp-y abdominal pain) whenever they eat foods that contain gluten (bread, cereal, processed wheat flour snacks).

One cause of gluten sensitivity is wheat allergy, a disorder that can be diagnosed by skin testing. But for many, the diagnosis remains uncertain. Some have begun calling this "non-celiac gluten hypersensitivity”. Another cause is the belief that if one eat’s wheat, they will not digest properly, causing anxiety in the digestive system.

Avoiding gluten makes sense for people with celiac disease, wheat allergy or those who feel unwell when they consume gluten. If you don’t have problem’s with gluten, removing it is not necessary.

Gluten-free foods are commonly less fortified with folic acid, iron and other nutrients than regular, gluten-containing foods. And gluten-free foods tend to have more sugar and fat. Several studies have found a trend toward weight gain and obesity among those who follow a gluten-free diet (including those with celiac disease).