Our answer to “What is Gluten?”
Gluten (from Latin gluten, “glue”) is a combination of two “types of protein” – gliadin and glutenin. Gluten helps dough rise and gives it elasticity. “True gluten” is only found in wheat but barley, grains and rye contain a similar protein composition that can cause reactions in sensitive individuals.
It’s estimated that only 1 in 141 people are allergic to gluten and for those people consuming gluten causes an immune system reaction and damages the intestines. People who are intolerant but not allergic to gluten can experience symptoms such as diarrhea, fatigue and joint pain, but no intestinal damage occurs.
If you’re not allergic or intolerant you should reconsider consuming gluten-free foods – they are often nutrient void and contain added sugar and fat to make up for the lack of gluten.
Although it is now ‘trendy’ to eat gluten-free you should be aware that gluten-free products are often nutrient void and contain added sugar and fat to make up for the lave of gluten. The best approach to health is to focus on eating a whole-foods diet and reduce your intake of refined and processed foods.