Gluten-free is just in, and people are buying in. And really, this may be one of the most popular diet fads to have hit this century next to the South Beach diet. But unlike the latter, the gluten-free trend looks like it’s about to stay permanently! Now, with that said, here is one issue that should probably bother you before taking the train on this exciting new trend: what is gluten?
Yep, despite what you read, NOT everyone knows what gluten is about or what it even constitutes. And really, if you are looking for a diet that should be really healthy for your body, then there is no doubt that you have to know everything about the basics behind it before proceeding—you know, just to be safe and satisfied, is all.
So, what is gluten, indeed? Well, if you have no idea where you can start looking for info, then that’s what we’re here to provide you with! Read more about the things you need to know about gluten to give you a more informed outlook on the latest diet craze to hit the world right now… including your pancakes, as well!
The Food which is Comprised of Gluten
Just like its distant (but still relatively close) cousin, carbohydrates, gluten is one factor that is almost present in every food that we eat. Just how ubiquitous is it, exactly? Well, let us count the ways…
For one, if either bread or pasta is daily staple of your everyday diet, then you’d better be well-served to know that gluten consists a huge part of those foods. If you regularly eat cereals, porridge, or even oat meals, you would also be surprised to know that those also contain gluten. The drink you are holding in your hand right now while you are reading this—which may either be coffee, milk, or even beer (hey, we don’t judge here, okay?)—are all made in part from gluten. So yes, to say that gluten is “inescapable” is pretty much the understatement of the year!
You may think it’s miserable that almost everything you are consuming is made up gluten, but really, it’s not that bad when you think about it. Gluten contains a high amount of protein but does not come with the “excess baggage” of having fats (pun very much intended). That is the reason why eating wheat bread, for instance, can become very filling when compared to eating white bread—it’s because of its gluten component!
So, now that all of that is said, why is there a renewed focus on treating gluten as “unhealthy” for one’s body? Well, as it turns out, this information has been snowballed starting from a very common ailment that is starting to pop up more and more these days: gluten intolerance.
When NOT to Eat Gluten
As of 2012, six to seven per cent of the world’s population was already suffering from gluten insensitivity. That may seem like a paltry number, but when you account the fact that seven billion people are already living in this planet as of 2012, then that figure is really nothing to sneeze at!
So, how would you know if you have gluten intolerance? Well, it’s quite simple to rule it out: if there’s a chance that you’re feeling bloated or have experienced getting diarrhea or any general stomach cramping from eating, say, a single piece of a wheat loaf, then that’s already an example of gluten intolerance.
However, therein lies the problem: the “symptoms” commonly associated with it are so commonplace that it can be very easy to mistake gluten insensitivity for anything else. That’s why it’s no surprise that gluten insensitivity is the most commonly “misdiagnosed” ailment out there.
However, if we’re talking about celiac disease, then there is no question that a gluten-free is ESSENTIAL for a disease like that one. To point it out succinctly, celiac disease is a condition where consuming even a fraction of gluten in one’s diet can send their stomachs into maximum overdrive by causing them improper digestion of nutrients and, eventually, damaging the sensitive linings of their small intestines. Yes, it sounds serious because it really is!
So, in a nutshell, not all people with gluten insensitivity suffer from celiac disease, but people with celia disease definitely suffer from a very FATAL case of gluten insensitivity!
Why go Gluten-Free
Make no mistake; gluten is such a necessary component of our lives. However, it is quite understandable when some folks are just unable to tolerate the stuff in their bodies lest they risk going to the loo every five minutes or so.
So, if you think that going gluten-free will help out a lot in your daily lifestyle, then by all means, please go ahead and read every label you can when you’re out doing your groceries. However, know that you may be lacking certain nutrients when you decide to adopt a very strict gluten-free diet like fiber and essential vitamins and minerals.
HOWEVER, if you are suffering from celiac disease, then there’s every reason that you should practice having a gluten-free diet. Yes, it may be hard at the start, but that’s how every journey is made, after all! So, we hope you have learned a lot from knowing what is gluten. Hope this report guides you well in the future and when you make desserts!