What is Gluten?

Healthy Foods

What is Gluten?

By Leanne Ely, C.N.C

In Celiac disease, or gluten sensitivity, has suddenly become much more popular and common than it used to be. So, what is all the hubbub about?

Gluten is a protein that resides in wheat, barley, rye, and other grains. On the bright side, not all grains contain gluten! You can find gluten free grains and gluten can be separated from the grain. Gluten is in more than just pasta and other wheat products, it’s often in fake meat products and processed foods because of its ability to combine ingredients and absorb fluids. Appropriately enough, gluten is often called a “glue” in the food world because it’s what holds some foods together. So what is the big problem with gluten? More and more people are finding that they have digestive problems, and a simple solution to clear that up is to avoid eating anything that may contain gluten. Easier said than done as so many processed food contain gluten; being an expert label reader is key.

Symptoms associated with celiac/gluten sensitivity: diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain after eating something that contains gluten. The solution to this is as easy as cutting gluten out of your diet. You can’t always rely on a doctor to spell this out for you because it is often misdiagnosed. Undiagnosed celiac disease – or even just a gluten sensitivity – can increase your risk of other problems such as: osteoporosis, cancer, and autoimmune disorders. So, if any of those symptoms apply to you, try avoiding food with gluten and see if there’s a difference in how you feel.

More and more people in the health community are starting to believe that everyone can benefit from eliminating gluten from their diet (regardless of if you have a sensitivity or not). Interestingly, by eliminating gluten, you can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, lose weight, and lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. I challenge you to give up gluten for 30 days (even if you don’t have a sensitivity), and see if you can feel a difference.

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