What is gluten? We hear a lot of people talking about it, in every supermarket there is now a “gluten free” aisle, we see more health shops and restaurants offering gluten free products and internet is filled with information about it. What is the truth behind gluten? Is gluten bad for you?
Here is an introduction to gluten:
The actual meaning of the word gluten has been modified to help the consumers identify gluten-free products,/a>. In scientific terms, gluten is a kind of protein found in wheat and it is composed of 2 types of protein: gliadin and glutenin. Nevertheless, to make buyers life easier, a couple more proteins have been added to this description, these being proline and hordein, proteins that are found in barley and rye, respectively. So, every time we see a gluten-free product in our local supermarket, it means that it is a product free of gliadin, glutenin, proline and hordein.
Why is this important?
There are many physiological alterations that are presented in the body that are caused by the consumption of gliadin, glutenin, proline and hordein proteins. These alterations are known as celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and gluten allergy. The only known treatment for these alterations or diseases is a gluten-free diet. Having said that, nowadays, the truth is that there is A LOT of people who haven’t been diagnosed with any of these and don’t show any symptoms of having them but still opt for a gluten-free diet.
Today, to eat a gluten-free diet requires time, dedication, money and effort to be able to commit to it, since a really big change in eating habits is needed. The benefits of having a gluten-free diet are increasing the immune function of the gut bacteria, weight loss, and improved digestion and a reduction on chronic swelling of the organism.
If you are looking to start a gluten-free diet, you need to learn how to identify the common gluten sources and how to avoid them!