The truth about Gluten finally revealed

Stéphanie Nassar
Posted On 26 SEP 2017

The truth about Gluten finally revealed

You all heard about “Gluten free” products lately, and you probably find these products in the “Diet and Healthy foods” corner in supermarkets. These new eye-catching products that invaded the store shelves are now the trendiest thing that people are adding to their shopping baskets, but is it mandatory to consume them? The article below will finally reveal the truth about Gluten and Gluten-free foods once and for all.

1. What is Gluten?

Gluten is the name of the proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and oats, the latter being a gluten-free grain that is contaminated with gluten after being exposed to other gluten-containing grains during its production and manufacturing, or when oats are grown side-by-side with wheat, barley or rye.

Wheat is commonly found in breads, pasta, cereals, sauces, wheat flour, burghul, semolina… Beers and malt contain barley, whereas rye is normally found in rye breads and cereals.

In fact, Gluten helps giving dough and bread their shape and elasticity.

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2. Are Gluten-free products healthier?

Since you now know that Gluten is a protein, you can now conclude that Gluten-free products are not necessarily healthier than regular starch-containing foods. You are also probably wondering why they are being made then. Well, the industries that are producing them are actually targeting a specific class of our population: those who are suffering from Celiac Disease! Therefore, unless you have this gastro-intestinal disorder medically diagnosed with intestinal biopsies and serologic tests, consuming Gluten-free foods will not harm you, but will definitely not do you any additional benefit.

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3. What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease, also known as Gluten intolerance, is a chronic condition in which the patient is not able to digest Gluten properly. Once a person that has it consumes a food containing wheat, rye, barley or oats, he or she will present the following symptoms: diarrhea, flatulence, nutrient malabsorption …and will suffer from other complications on the long run such as weight loss, anemia, vitamin deficiencies and in some cases lactose intolerance.

4. How should diagnosed persons modify their diet and food habits according to their disease?

People with celiac disease will need to completely eliminate Gluten from their diet. They are advised to read carefully the nutrition facts label before buying any product in order to make sure that is does not contain any traces of Gluten. As for the alternative starches the patients are allowed to consume, they are: rice, rice cakes, corn, potatoes, soya grains, tapioca and any kind of breads or flours made of any of these options. In some cases, the physician will prescribe vitamins and minerals as supplements since they are less absorbed during this medical condition.

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And there you have it! The truth about Gluten-free products and the people they are truly targeting finally unveiled!




Author

Stéphanie Nassar

+ 961 70 13 88 69

Dietitian
MSc. Sports Nutrition & Physiology  (USJ)
steph.nassar@hotmail.com

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