Gluten-Free is a term that is most commonly found on product packaging, which means that the product does not contain gluten.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a substance whose name means “Glue” in latin, lets dough rise and gives it its elasticity. It’s most commonly found in wheat, rye and barley. This means majority of bagels, pizza and other bread products are all likely to contain gluten. Although in can be found hair, skin and cosmetic products as well.
Why Gluten Free?
So why is everyone so down on Gluten? Why are gluten-free diets so trendy? Gluten itself is natural. It’s part of the grains that are found in wheat, barley and rye. However, once the grains are processed and refined, that’s when the composition changes and the product becomes more glutenous, starchy, unbalanced and unhealthy. Gluten isn’t the enemy, it’s processed foods. It’s no wonder that just a decade ago, about 1 in 2500 people were gluten intolerant, now the number has risen to 1 in 130. However, some people inherit a disease called Celiac Disease genetically. People with Celiac disease have a hard time digesting food because of the sensitivity in their small intestine to gluten.
Is Gluten-Free diet for you?
One of the best ways to find out if a gluten-free diet is for you, is to simply take out gluten out of your diet for a couple of weeks. Not only will you save money on expensive doctor visits, but it will also force you to eat healthier. Many people report that most of their symptoms such as bloating, indigestion and stomach cramps go away within a few days of a gluten-free diet. But even if you don’t have gluten intolerance, a gluten-free diet could do great things for your health. By default, you will be eating less processed foods and getting more nutrient rich foods.
However, don’t be fooled by the gluten-free labels. Today, they are put on everything and anything as a marketing tool for the uneducated. People assume a gluten-free label means the product is somehow better. But it’s often put on products that don’t usually even contain gluten. Thus, some gluten-free products can still be very unhealthy. So as always, read the ingredients.