Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale. Gluten acts as glue that holds things together and gives our baked goods their wonderful texture. Its also found in almost everything that is processed.
Being gluten free is vital for people with celiacs disease. But what about people who dont have celiacs? There are people out there that are sensitive to gluten. Which means that although they dont have celiacs disease, gluten produces negative effects on their body and its different for everyone. Sensitivities can cause mood swings, headaches, skin problems or asthma among many other symptoms. For myself, I had severe pain in my stomach, nausea and inflammation.
After I had a procedure done, a GI Dr. told me I had chronic inflammation in my gut probably due to heartburn, Really? I didnt think so, but nobody could tell me what was going on. After a terrible bout or flair up in my gut and losing a lot of weight, my OBGYN sat down with me and said we need to talk about your weight. I told her it was for another day and another Dr. My OBGYN is pretty cool because she said today was the day and she was the Dr.! She sent me to another GI Dr. who actually told me to try an elimination diet getting rid of dairy, gluten and a few other foods. I did and it worked! But it wasnt easy as I wasnt up on everything that contained gluten. Which is a lot by the way.
Gluten can be found in many things. Some things you may not have thought about are chewing gum, flavoured potato chips, soy sauce, salad dressings, most store bought sauces, puddings and pie fillings, mustard, deli meats, instant coffee and other drinks, canned soups, licorice, some alcohols, caramel colour and due to cross contamination oats.
There are also ingredients to watch out for that can contain gluten such as:
Artifical color, Baking powder, Caramel flavoring, Citric acid, Coloring, Dextrins, Diglycerides, Emulsifiers, Enzymes, Fat replacers, Flavorings, Food starch, Glucose syrup, Glycerides, Maltodextrin, Modified food starch, Natural juices, Stabilizers, Starch and Wheat starch.
I know that there are many more items that gluten is found in so my suggestion is to eat whole foods, stay away from processed foods and if you are buying foods in a box or can, look for the gluten free label. I do have to mention though that gluten free products are not necessarily healthy products. They are very processed foods so try to keep those to a minimum.
I’ve been gluten free now for a number of years and most of my recipes on my website are gluten free. If you have been asked to go gluten free or if you suspect you may have an issue and need help making that transition to gluten free, contact me at email@example.com.