Find What Gluten Food Are, Gluten Free & More Health Information
Gluten is a type of protein stored with starch and found in various cereals and grains like barley, rye, oats, wheat, and hybrid species like spelt, Kamut, emmer, etc. Gluten gives the sticky texture of the dough and keeps its shape and chewiness when baked.
Regrettably, many people experience uncomfortable symptoms after consuming food that contains gluten. Although there are controversial pieces of evidence to prove that gluten sensitivity is genuine, many people are becoming aware of gluten-related diseases and how to avoid them, making the subject very relevant.
Gluten sensitivity is a real issue that triggers Celiac Disease (DD) or gluten intolerance, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS), wheat allergy, and Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH). Unfortunately, the causes of Gluten Sensitivity have not been established, except that the immune system and genetics could be the mechanism behind it.
Apart from the wheat allergy, two main reasons that make people sensitive to gluten are:
1. CELIAC DISEASE(CD)
When the immune system responds abnormally to gluten by destroying the villi, it causes an autoimmune disorder called Celiac Disease. The villi are small parts of the intestines that absorb nutrients. When the villi do not function properly, it leads to malnutrition and permanent intestinal damage. In children, failure to take in nutrients during early years of growth and development can cause health problems such as delayed puberty, short stature, mood swings, weight loss, and dental defects.
Symptoms of Celiac Disease:
- The symptoms vary from children to adults and the type of gluten ingested.
- These are the common symptoms for children:
- Abdominal fluctuation,
- Chronic Constipation,
- Sharp stomach pain,
- Nausea and vomiting,
- Chronic diarrhea,
- Pale and foul-smelling stool.
- Symptoms in Adults:
- Joint pain,
- Tingling in the hands and feet,
- Sores inside the mouth,
Infertility or miscarriage and irregular menstrual cycle in women.
There are no standard ways to test for Gluten Sensitivity, but the most common and closest way to test is by
Blood Test: Standard blood test (tTG-IgA) can be taken to look for antibodies that incorrectly interact with gluten protein, or
Biopsy: Consulting a specialist with the biopsy from your small intestine to check for any internal damages
2. NON CELIAC GLUTEN SENSITIVITY (NCGS)
NCGS affects only about 0.5- 13% of the world population. People classified under this do not test positive for Celiac Disease or wheat allergy, but they still show abnormal reactions similar to CD and wheat allergy after consuming gluten. It is included under the gluten-related disorder, but the leading causes are yet to be ascertained by researchers and specialists.
- Symptoms of Non-Celiac gluten sensitivity
- Stomach pain
- Change in bowel movement,
- Physical and mental Fatigue,
- Skin rashes,
- A frequent headache.
Because gluten sensitivity is a newly established disease, there are no standard bio-meters to diagnose it yet, so the antidote is to avoid food that contains gluten.
Curbing gluten entirely from your diet is a huge challenge. It requires a tremendous amount of dedication and a complete lifestyle change.
Some of the primary sources of gluten in food that can be avoided are wheat, barley, brewer’s yeast, rye, and malt.
Here is a list of gluten-free food
- Grains and starch
- Cassava, corn,
- Organic Oats
- Nut Flour
- Gluten-free proteins:
- Nuts and seeds
- Fresh red meat, poultry, and seafood
Proteins that may have gluten added:
Processed meat, cold cuts, ground meat, veggie burgers, and other meat substitutes
- Coconut oil,
- Ground pepper,
- Olive oil,
- Almond milk,
- Fruit juice,
- Sodas and fizzy drinks,
Most beer, ale, and lagers contain gluten, so it is always advised to have a second look to make sure that the beverages are labeled as gluten-free
All organic vegetables, fruits, and legumes are naturally gluten-free, and they should frequently be used as substitutes for non-gluten free food to maintain a balanced diet.
Consuming minimally processed food is the key to leading a gluten-free life. There are many substitutes for food that contain gluten these days, but it is essential to differentiate between proper gluten-free labels and the commercially available ones. It is to be noted that “wheat-free” does not mean “gluten-free” so be wary of misleading labels.
Step to deal with gluten sensitivity:
1. Reading food labels: educate yourself about the list of gluten-free food and make sure that you take your time reading the labels when you shop at the market
2. Buy gluten-free cookbook: this may help you to substitute essential ingredients and cook more creative food that is equally tasty and provide sufficient nutritional requirements
3. Plan: to save time, plan your grocery list, and meal preparations ahead. Also, research places to eat and shop before you visit a new site
4. Take your food: this way, you will not feel left when everyone else is enjoying their food
5. Have separate cooking utensils: to prevent accidental contamination with gluten from other food.
6. Share your condition. If people you eat with are aware that you are on a diet, they are more likely to offer you gluten-free options wherever you eat.
While a gluten-free diet may relieve many symptoms of gluten intolerance, some of the downsides are:
Gluten-sensitive people often avoid food that is natural and opts for processed food labeled as gluten-free, which leads to a weakness in fiber, iron, calcium, vitamins, folate, and zinc.
Constipation is a common side effect of a gluten-free diet as they eliminate fiber-rich sources like bread, wheat-based products, and bran. To avoid this, eat more fiber-rich natural food supplements.
Since gluten-free food is often double the price of regular counterparts, it could pinch your budget. Opt for the whole, single-ingredient diet to cut expenses.
These are evidence that Gluten sensitivity is a real issue, and though they are many unanswered questions, this condition, unfortunately, does cause a lot of complications to people. Until evident proof on how to diagnose it is established, it is best to choose real food.