What is gluten and why is it so bad for some of us?

This is something that I have googled so many times before. I don’t know why, but it didn’t matter how much reading I did, I would just feel so overwhelmed about what gluten was, what foods I had to look out for it in or how I’d know if something contained it.

Gluten is a group of proteins, called prolamins and glutelins, which occur with starch in the endosperm of various cereal grains. It’s commonly found in wheat, rye and barley. So, in simple terms, this means that most foods containing flour, such as bread, will contain gluten.

About gluten

  • Gluten is found in the grains wheat, barley and rye.
  • Gluten is found in foods like bread, pasta, cereals, flour, cakes and biscuits.
  • It can also be found in processed foods such as soups, sauces and ready meals.

You won’t find gluten in other traditional carbohydrates, like potato and rice.

Why does gluten negatively affect some people?

There are various ways you could be negatively impacted by gluten and those are through sensitivity or intolerance and allergy (coeliac).

The existence of non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, as it’s called, has been under debate recently in the medical community but researchers believe that it may not be gluten at all, but instead a combination of carbohydrates and sugars known as FODMAPs, which are often found in gluten-containing foods.

Those who are allergic to gluten have a considerably different reaction. For coeliac’s (or celiac if you’re not British) gluten damages the small intestine resulting in you being unable to take in nutrients. For those who are coeliac, which is an autoimmune disease, digesting gluten make you incredibly ill. Symptoms can include bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhoea, but the long term effects can be considerably worse.

Published by Jamee Ria

Scottish PR and Marketing Manager and makeup and skincare addict attempting to go gluten and dairy-free.

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