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Gluten – The Hide & Go Seek Game

February 5, 2015

GLUTEN HIDE AND SEEK

Come out, come out wherever you are!

As a nutritionist, the #1 question I get asked, “Is gluten really that bad for you?”.

The next comment I get is, “I stopped eating grains, so I no longer have gluten in my diet.”

There is this misconception that if one stops eating grains, they have eliminated gluten from their diets. I always hate to burst their bubble, but gluten hides out in many other foods and non-food products.

Let’s get back to the #1 question. Is gluten bad for you?  Well, yes, and for some that would be a big YES!

I recently had a friend tell me about a conversation he had with a doc during a routine visit who told him the whole “gluten thing” was a big fallacy.  My response to that was ask someone with Celiac or autoimmune, and let them describe what happens to them if they ingest gluten.

However, gluten does not just affect those with Celiac or autoimmune. It can also cause IBS like symptoms, headaches, skin problems and joint pain, to name a few.  If one is dealing with digestive issues, infections, ADHD, mood disorders and other symptoms, gluten can exacerbate the situation.

But, what is gluten?  Simply put, gluten is a type of protein found in grains. There are different types, but the main ones we hear about are gliadin or glutenin. This is not to say that the other types of gluten are not problematic as well. Gluten is what helps food keep it’s shape acting like a glue or binder.

Where does gluten play hide and seek?

Grains:

  • Wheat
  • Spelt
  • Kamut
  • Triticale
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Oats – though they don’t contain gluten, many oat products are produced in the same factories as gluten containing grains and cross contamination is very common.

Examples:

  • Cereal
  • Muffins
  • Croissants
  • Granola
  • Wheat germ
  • Pancakes/waffles
  • English muffins
  • Oatmeal
  • Sandwich bread
  • Pizza
  • Pasta
  • Bulgur
  • Couscous
  • Frozen french fries
  • Chicken nuggets
  • Stuffing
  • Granola bars
  • Fruit bars
  • Pretzels
  • Potato Chips
  • Crackers

Items you may not of realized:

  • Deli meat
  • Imitation bacon
  • Sushi
  • Dumplings
  • Soup
  • Sausages
  • Beer
  • Liqueurs
  • Soy Sauce
  • Malt vinegar
  • Salad dressings
  • Marinades
  • Spice mixes

Seriously? These items as well?

  • Communion wafers
  • Lipstick
  • Shampoo
  • Supplements
  • Cosmetics
  • Glue on envelopes and stamps
  • Play dough
  • Medications

As you can see, gluten is in a lot more products than just grain based foods.  If you have made the choice to avoid gluten, make sure you do your due diligence and know what to be on the lookout for.

If you would like more information on all things gluten, the Gluten Free Society is a treasure trove of information.

Do you find yourself dealing with unexplained symptoms? Do you know you need to eliminate gluten from your diet, but don’t know where to start?  Let’s talk!!  Hop on over here to set up your free 30 minute consultation.

To your health,

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Reference:

http://www.glutenfreesociety.org/

Digestive Health with Real Food by Aglaee Jacob, M.S. R.D.

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