What is Gluten?

February 1, 2017

 

Gluten is a type of protein found in cereals, grains, and breads. It is composed of two primary sub fractions: prolamines and glutelins. Gluten helps bread to rise, giving it a chewy texture.

 

Gluten Free Diet:

A gluten free diet is a diet completely free of all foods derived from these gluten grains. Unfortunately, gluten shows up unexpectedly in many processed foods that contain food additives, flavorings, stabilizers, or thickening agents. Celiac disease is a condition that causes many digestive symptoms due to difficulty in digestion of gluten. Those with celiac disease must avoid gluten-containing foods 100% of the time. If your celiac disease tests come back negative but you're still feeling symptoms, you may have Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. Common symptoms of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity may include: bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, headache, cramps, brain fog, joint pain, numbness in the legs, arms or fingers and even fatigue.

 

Wheat or gluten sensitivity:

Certain individuals who do not have celiac disease have been found to be sensitive to wheat or to all gluten- containing foods. Often this is the result of eating wheat or gluten foods many times daily, every day, for many years. Sensitivities develop that will only improve with the removal of wheat or all gluten for a period of time. Most individuals who are sensitive to wheat find that their symptoms return anytime they eat wheat and therefore avoid it permanently.

 

What starches are acceptable on a gluten-free diet?

Acceptable starches for you may be sweet potato, white/red potatoes (may not be suitable for you based on your circumstance), carrots, beets, parsnips, and rutabaga. Coconut flour and nut flours may be used for gluten free baking. Some examples are coconut flour, almond meal, chia seeds, flax meal, etc... The next page lists foods that do not contain gluten and foods that contain gluten.

 Following the chart above will help you stay gluten-free!

 

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