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What is Gluten?

What is Gluten?

What is gluten? How does gluten affect the body? While being a binder or glue in food such as wheat, rye, barley, and other baked goods, gluten also carries a nature that can bring about "gluten ailments." As we move along, we will have an in-depth understanding of what gluten is exactly. We will also see the importance of a gluten-free diet and the ways it can affect our health.

What is Gluten: Understanding How Gluten Affects the Body!

1. What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. In the wide range of grains containing gluten, wheat happens to be the most commonly consumed.

Gliadin and glutenin are the 2 main proteins in gluten. Gliadin happens is responsible for most of the negative health effects of gluten.

By mixing flour with water, you will have gluten proteins form a sticky network with a glue-like consistency. Have you ever asked yourself why bread rises when baked? It is pretty simple. It is the glue-like property that provides a satisfying and chewy texture.

Interestingly enough, the name gluten originates from the glue-like property that is associated with wet dough.

2. What is All This Talk About Gluten?

What is All this Talk About Gluten? | What is Gluten?


Gluten is beginning to surface in today’s current health world and has become a rather controversial topic. According to many trusted and reliable sources, gluten is actually not as harmful to people as many people thought. The group of people that are most affected by gluten falls into the category of having celiac disease. They are gluten intolerant or have a high sensitivity to gluten. All can be factors when it comes to eating and being able to digest gluten but celiac disease, in particular, can be most harmful.

So, now we ask ourselves, what is gluten exactly? Wheat, rye, and barley are most recognized when talking about gluten. They are the food people are asked to stay away from when eating gluten-free. The term “gluten-free” has become more popular in the health industry as more people are becoming aware of their sensitivity to gluten. They notice stomach pains or other side effects from consuming gluten. Others look at eating “gluten-free” as a healthier lifestyle or a diet to help cut out carbs.

3. Where to Find Gluten?

Cookies, bread, and pasta are some of the grain products that are associated with gluten. The wide range of the processed foods usually bears “hidden” gluten. Coating of frozen French fried potatoes, rice cereal as malt, and soy sauce are examples.

Aside from that, most of the non-food items such as household cleaners and cosmetics contain gluten. It is also important to move ahead and outline those products manufactured from WBRO or any related derivative will, as a matter of fact, be constituted by varying levels of gluten.

Different medical experts recommend a gluten-free diet. One thing that is for sure is that traces of wheat/rye/barley will impact people with celiac disease. The U.S. Grain Standards cover commodity grains, and of course, it is for a good reason. In close consideration of the fact that the term “gluten” happens to pretty rarely indicated on ingredient labels, it is of paramount importance that someone on a gluten-free diet gets to actually identify those particular areas that gluten hides. Indeed, habitual ingredient label reading does much towards boosting confidence. Thus, one gets to make even much more the informed choices.

4. Getting Started with a Gluten-Free Diet!

A well-planned gluten-free diet should be taken as it is a great way to promote great health conditions. It is important to point to a rarely known fact. Gluten is in no way essential for the proper functioning of the human body system. On the same note, its amino acid components get replaced many times over in a wide range of foods. For someone struggling with celiac disease, there can be no better decision than that of resorting to a gluten-free diet. In a major way, it promotes improved health and well-being.

No need to tell a lie about it! Lifestyle change is something that actually takes much understanding and patience. You will need great support from your loved ones and friends. And, believe it or not, that is a special and very important part of treatment.

A wide array of food is available in markets around you. Of course, the most "regular" recipes may easily be transformed to end up as gluten-free.

5. Amazing Ways to Supplement the Gluten-Free Diet!

Active celiac disease does much to prevent the body from absorbing different nutrients in a proper way. There aren’t as many functioning "holes in the sieve" for nutrients to be transported into your body stream.

Of course one would wish to get defensive and state that the small intestines are properly described as being "back to normal.” But it is important to be clearer about matters and actually move ahead to state that despite this, there are still other “windows” where we have the potentiality of the different nutrients actually getting absorbed and the lower levels.

In some of the cases, monitoring physicians will recommend a blood test in a bid to try and find out whether the selected vitamins or nutrients are getting absorbed.

The recommendation may go as far as covering the selected intake of iron, folate, and B vitamins. On an occasional basis, there is a need for the replacement of fluids and electrolytes like potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

Both women and men with low bone density will need a vitamin D replacement for things to meet a healthy system. In case there occurs associated conditions such as diabetes, lactose intolerance, a series of remedy elements might apply.

The immune system of an individual struggling with celiac disease, as a matter of fact, happens to be quite sensitive. Resilience, as well as stamina, may not be where they were at the earlier time. Most vitamins, over-the-counter medications, and various food supplements are based on and measured for people at full-absorbing, full-functioning levels.

From another perspective, we can consider working with a monitoring physician who at all costs gets to determine much-advocated for strength and supplement product. In case the associated symptoms do persist long after the intake of the gluten-free diet, then this might just be the much-awaited call for the adoption of proper refinement.

Later on, after the gluten-free diet has been established, it is common that a number of symptoms show up. At this point in time, you need to make consultations with the monitoring physician since health considerations, as well as the food sensitivities, may, as a matter of fact, be involved.

On those particular instances when gluten is taken off the diet, much of the culminating damage-the one done on villi-gets repaired with immediate effect. It only takes between three to six days for mucosa to actually exhibit improvement.

6. Reasons as to Why Gluten is Bad for a Section of People!

Quite a large group of people copes with gluten. This is what learning what is gluten is indeed necessary to become more aware of your health status. But, it is of paramount importance to actually state facts as they are! Gluten can, in a major way, spark issues in persons suffering from certain health conditions.

Some of them include gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, and wheat allergy among many others.

7. What is Celiac Disease?

What is Celiac Disease? | What is Gluten?


Celiac disease is at times spelled out as coeliac disease. If there does exist a very severe form of gluten intolerance, then that must be Celiac disease. It pulls in as an autoimmune disorder and operates on the principle of the human body system treating gluten as some sort of a foreign invader.

The human immune system starts off by destroying the lining of the gut and attacking the gluten eventually. What happens after there is that the gut wall gets damaged and might, later on, culminate in an increased risk of a wide range of health complications.

Celiac disease is many at times associated with digestive discomforts, constipation, diarrhea, headache, skin rashes, weight loss, tiredness, and foul-smelling feces. But some of the persons suffering from celiac disease will fail to actually showcase the digestive symptoms though that is not to downplay the fact that they may showcase other symptoms such as anemia and tiredness.

It is for this particular reason that celiac disease shows up as one of the most difficult to treat medical conditions not forgetting that it is actually very difficult to diagnose. To cut it to the chase, up to 80% of people struggling with the condition aren’t aware that they are actually struggling with it.

It is in order referring to celiac disease as some sort of an autoimmune disorder that sparks the human body system to attack gluten. This results in a wide range of health complications and digestive disorders.

8. A Simple Outlook at the Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

There are some rare instances where people react negatively to gluten yet during testing do not test positive for celiac disease. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is the name of this particular condition. At this point in time, there is not yet a comprehensive report indicating just how many people are suffering from the condition. However, it can be roughly at 0.5–13%.

Gluten sensitivity pulls along with a number of symptoms. They include depression, tiredness, stomach pain, and diarrhea. There is no clear-cut definition to do with the non-celiac gluten sensitivity, but a diagnosis is usually done in those instances when the patient reacts in a negative manner to gluten. However, celiac diseases, as well as allergies, have been faced out.

A number of the top experts are firm believers of the idea that this is in no way a real condition. According to them, the associated adverse effects are only but imaginary or otherwise culminate from substances other than gluten.

One of the studies conducted examined about 400 people with self-diagnosed gluten intolerance, and they carried out an investigation to find out whether or not they improved after being subjected to a gluten-free diet.

Results have indicated that only 26 people had celiac disease, while on other hand two more were diagnosed with gluten sensitivity. In other words that implies that out of the 400 that were found gluten intolerant, only 55 of them faced issues with gluten.

A large group of people who believe that they are gluten intolerant many at times have different causes of their symptoms. To state it as it is, most of the people that react in a negative way to gluten do not necessarily suffer from celiac disease.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is a very controversial condition. A great percentage of people that react negatively to gluten according to research has been discovered as not having non-celiac gluten.

9. Wheat Allergy, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and Others

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) happens to be a pretty common digestive disorder and is known to spark symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, and diarrhea, and gas. As a matter of fact, this is a chronic disorder, but the good thing is that it is much possible to manage the associated symptoms by adopting new lifestyles, diet as well as stress management.

Interestingly enough, most of the studies have indicated that a number of individuals with IBS may get to benefit from a gluten-free diet. A wheat allergy may cause some digestive disorders especially after the consumption of gluten.

On top of that, a series of other studies have indicated that a gluten-free diet is actually the best when it comes to helping out those persons suffering from schizophrenia, gluten ataxia, and autism.

The current times are witnessing quite a large number of people moving out to find some alternative foods that are gluten-free. The gluten-free buns, bread, bagels, and cereals have become favorites among most of the informed general public. It is also worth mentioning gluten-free flours such as brown rice, almond, and coconut which are quite nutritious.

10. Helpful Tips for selecting Gluten-Free Foods

As a matter of fact, it is crucial that you try as much as possible to restrain from consuming the various gluten-containing foods. By doing so, you will be able to avoid the major damages resulting from intolerance but it is not to downplay the fact that this is definitely a difficult thing to do for anyone.

Let’s face it once and for all. A gluten-free eating plan is a great way that demands an in-depth understanding in regards to what gluten actually is and the foodstuffs that contain gluten and where to actually find those foods.

The troubling thing in the whole of this is the fact that gluten is actually found in a wide range of products that humans consume every day. This is exactly why you need a gluten-free eating plan since you will be very careful in your selection of the foodstuff to consume. Reading brands carefully is something that you cannot afford to take for granted if truly you care about your health. Avoiding those foods containing gluten in favor of gluten-free foods will be very helpful.

Generally, "gluten-free" implies that you are actually consuming foods containing less than the standards deem dangerous. Though, it is critical to state that the number varies in the different parts worldwide.

Considering the fact that most of the foods that people consume contain gluten, it gets rather challenging to find alternative resources for nutrients, natural vitamins, and fiber. The tough task requires commitment and dedication.

  • Tip #1

Delve into deep research to find out those foods that contain "hidden" gluten. After which, you will move ahead identify all those that are gluten-free. Many times, all the processed foods, some sauces, and condiments are constituted by this wheat product. Vegetables, fruits, and meat without additives or fillers are gluten-free. It is rather advisable that you rely more on fresh foods and unprocessed ones. It is also of paramount importance that the different additives added to increase shelf life associated with perishables be subjected to close scrutiny.

  • Tip #2

Buy foods that contain corn and rice. Of course, there are some other acceptable starches such as arrowroot, soy, tapioca, and legumes.

  • Tip #3

Move ahead and make a note alongside the different foodstuffs that you buy in the grocery. You will move ahead to rule out all those items that are suspected to contain gluten. You will end up with only the safe foodstuffs on your shopping cart.

  • Tip #4

Move ahead and check the various ingredients that are contained in the different foodstuff. Still, on the same note, you will need to understand the terms flour, cereals, hydrolyzed veggie proteins, soya sauce, customized starchy food, and veggie gum. Any of these could contain gluten.

Of course, there exists a wide range of other terms referring to those foods that contain gluten. Hereby you will find terms such as plant proteins, emulsifiers, and stabilizers. One thing that is for sure. It is a fact that the product ingredients may be altered. Thus, you should be checking it every time you move out to go shop.

You should drop meals containing barley, wheat, rye, and oatmeal. The various products made from these grains include durum rice flour, Kasha, graham flour, wheat bran, wheat germ, bulgur, and triticale.

  • Tip #5

You may also choose to be carrying out your shopping activities in the no-gluten section of the grocery of your choice. The other way out would be to buy natural meals or trusted shops that serve customers with food sensitivities.

Most times, such shops will always have in place an improved choice of the not gluten cooking products herbs, bread, condiments, and vegetables. One sure fact is that by choosing to shop at any of these marketplaces you will be guaranteed of finding the best foods you are looking out for without having to invest so much time in the grocery store shelves. It is critical you talk to the store administrator in order for you to understand whether a customer list of the non-gluten meals is readily available.

  • Tip #6

It is also important that you pay much closer attention to the various food items that may get in contact with the mouth area, and move ahead to check out the ingredients list for balms, lipsticks, toothpaste as well as drugs since these may also contain high levels of gluten and thus as a result sparking a reaction to all those persons struggling with serious allergies. Refrain from products containing farina, bulgur, and malt taste for your own good.

  • Tip #7

Visit the online platform to get to see the wide array of free from gluten resources or otherwise get in touch with the celiac disease support groups who will help you out with finding the best recipes, the many tips on using the various gluten-free products, and above all menu planning.

Quite a few websites will actually direct to you some resources or consumer information from credible sources. The gluten-free cookbooks, newsletters, websites, food items, and support groups could do much to offer you the help you need as well as some resources.

Going by a gluten-free plan could be challenging and even annoying to others. But the encouraging this is thing is that with time, creativity and tolerance, you will come to realize that there are actually a lot of gluten-containing meals that you will relish.

Diverting to a no-gluten eating strategy is in its own sense a major transformation. Like any other new thing that you had to engage in, it demands that you take some time to get acquainted with. You may have to face up to the various annoying restrictions that show up with taking up on this particular plan.

It is crucial that you stick to your chosen path at whatever cost and that means you have to concentrate on all meets that are good for your health. You don’t need to be scared at all considering that there are a lot of gluten-free foods that you can still enjoy.

11. The Difference that Exists Between Celiac Disease and Gluten intolerance!

Gluten intolerance means that someone showcases a great inability to tolerate gluten. As a matter of fact, the associated symptoms to some extent may be severe or not. You may also have to put up with a wide range of reactions during that moment when you are actually ingesting gluten. A lot of people are actually gluten-intolerant yet they do not know about it.

The moment you get diagnosed with celiac is the moment you should try finding a solution to it. The associated symptoms usually creep in within 30 minutes though it might move further to 3 hours from the time of gluten ingestion.

One thing that you need to know is that being celiac may pull along as quite dramatic, and it is advisable that you actually move out in search of proper medical guidance. It is easy to know that something is not right.

12. How to Easily Tell that You are Sensitive to Gluten

Let’s face it, the list of symptoms may show up as rather broad but at the moment we can look at a few. They include diarrhea/constipation, digestive complications, and lung problems such as headaches, asthma, depression, joint problems, fatigue as well as a major inability to concentrate or focus.

It is important to outline that different persons will, of course, showcase varying responses. This showcases the symbolic aspect of these things as well as a whole lot more of the physical complexities and checking out a doctor for help is recommended.

You may also want to consider gluten out and this will require that you wait for a few weeks before moving ahead to attempt eating something containing gluten. The associated symptoms are believed to return within a couple of hours.

13. Do You Need to Care if You are Reacting to Gluten?

Do You Need to Care if You are Reacting to Gluten? | What is Gluten?


It is important to state that reactions to gluten may culminate in some very severe health conditions such as Crohn's disease, bowel syndrome, osteoporosis, cancer, thyroid, asthma, and rheumatoid. By proceeding with the habit of taking in gluten, your tissues will be affected, and you will get sick. That, of course, doesn’t sound quite good.

Simply put, yes! You should be concerned. It is good to maintain your long-term health and if you happen to be experiencing symptoms it is important that you make the move to see a doctor.

14. What is the Reason Behind a lot of People Going the Gluten-Free Route?

Recent times have seen most of the consumed diets filled with gluten. In a close consideration at the various breakfast cereals that we all consuming ranging from high bread consumption, eating of noodles and pasta to the number of muffins and muesli, it is most likely that we will have to encounter the challenge.

It is high time to shift our minds and the best way would be to put up some close monitoring of the diets we undertake. Everyone will be sure to benefit from lessening the number of processed foods. Taking up the habit of cooking from scratch will be an amazing experience, to say the least.

15. Ways Gluten-Free Diet Helps Towards Weight Loss

People from various walks of life are firm believers in the fact that the gluten-free diet is actually ideal for someone that wants to shed off the pounds. However, it is important to point out the fact that you will need to delve into an in-depth analysis before moving forward to undertake this particular diet. Here are a few points that you will have to consider.

  • The American Dietetic Association stipulates that they have not been able to identify any proven gluten-free diet to help with weight loss. Quite minimal research has been redirected in line with this particular matter. There doesn’t exist any form of statistical data proving or disapproving the “no gluten for weight loss.”
  • A section of people struggles with a gluten allergy and gluten intolerance. They are thus forced to eat a gluten-free diet to switch to good health and get fit. Of course, celiac disease is a severe form of gluten-related complications. A celiac patient’s intestines are such that they are unable to absorb the nutrition contained in the food they eat. Gluten intake in a major way aggravates celiac disease.
  • Apart from persons suffering from intolerance and a wide range of some other related complications, gluten plays an instrumental role towards weight loss though it does that indirectly. The different processed foods are known to add many indeed calories to your system and thus it is important that you avoid consuming foods that are rich in gluten. Most of the processed foods globally are associated with high-calorie levels and thus, you need to be careful with the choice of foods.
  • Many studies carried out lately have brought about major revelations. By choosing to adopt a no gluten diet, you will, as a matter of fact, be committing yourself to stick to a gluten-free diet.
  • A research carried out earlier revealed that regardless of how tall one grows, sticking to gluten-rich foods will make one heavier and bulkier. This is something that a lot of people are trying at all costs to avoid.
  • Many studies have been concluded in recent years, and some of them have found out that overweight persons struggling with celiac disease enjoy benefits from diets free of gluten.
  • Gluten does not boost weight by quite a large percentage. That means that ruling it off your menu won’t showcase a significant impact on your weight. But, it is also important to state that foods rich in gluten also tend to be quite rich in fats, salt, and calories. By choosing to refrain from them in a consistent manner, you will be assured of a noticeable difference in your weight.
  • Another area of focus would be to ask you to be very much careful when it comes to the kind of foods you take up to consume in replacing the gluten-rich foods in your diet. The free of gluten substitutes unlike what most people think could as a matter of fact contain pretty high, levels of calories. At the same time, choosing to replace the wheat cereals with the refined cereals could impact your nutrition considering that many times they are not enriched with nutrition. In such a scenario, the diet free of gluten fails to meet the set goal of putting on weight.

16. Amazing Tips on Getting Started on Gluten-Free Lifestyle

  • A lot of people waste a lot of time checking out the foods they can’t eat. But, the important thing is to actually focus on those food items that you can consume such as naturally gluten-free foods such as vegetables, meats, nuts, fruits, and pulses.
  • Most of the health stores, large pharmacies, and supermarkets are stopping gluten-free foods including muffins, readily mixed bread, and pancakes. It is also important to mention that currently, it has gotten much easier to get pasta and gluten-free flour.
  • The wide range of health stores also needs to ensure that they stock xanthan gum, gluten-free raising flour as well as gluten substitutes. It is a great thing moving ahead to substitute gluten in baking since it culminates in the end product showcasing crumby attributes.
  • Some of the processed and manufactured premixed gluten products such as the bread mixes could go at higher prices. Thus, it is recommendable that you actually visit stores and make your own from scratch.
  • Are you a great fan of gluten-free recipes? Then a good gluten-free cookbook will do wonders for you or you could otherwise resort to the internet. You will come across many gluten-free websites that will lead you on to consuming gluten-free recipes; and will also serve you with a wide range of information that will guide you through the preparation of the best gluten-free recipes and meals.
  • It is crucial to refrain from overthinking about what you are missing out on and instead be open to consuming new meals as well as enjoying the associated flavors.

17. Common Mistakes People Make with Gluten and Celiac Disease

  • Some people will listen to bad advice and unfortunately live by it. As a matter of fact, gluten happens to be one of the hottest topics globally when it comes to matters to do with food and health as well. Such a height of awareness is impressive, to say the least. However, failure by the different persons to do homework as it demands would be a wrong move. There are people with the habit of tweeting everything they come across. Social media spreads bad information, and when a desperate person comes across such information, he/she thinks it is accurate and utilizes it.
  • A lot of people live with the misconception that celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are the same; which is wrong. Those individuals struggling with celiac disease may be intolerant to gluten. But, not everyone with celiac disease is gluten sensitive and the clear-cut difference has to be understood the right way. Both of these have been discovered to push people to quite some severe health complications and higher mortality rates.
  • Some people compare celiac disease to some other common allergies and that is starting on the wrong foot. Celiac disease is quite different from shellfish intolerance. There is a common misconception that gluten reaction usually makes lips swell for a few hours after the ingestion of gluten. Believe it or not, it is a critical decision choosing to cut gluten from your diet. Gluten could lead you to an early grave if you don’t make the right move in good time.
  • Celiac disease doesn’t happen overnight like a lot of people tend to believe. It is a condition that actually remains in the silent mode/stage for quite a long period of time. It is a completely different scenario from that which occurs when one gets poisoned by salmonella. Gluten works in a slow manner killing you bit by bit until it is done sucking the life out of you.
  • A larger number of people think that “gluten-free” on the various labels actually mean those particular foods are gluten-free. This is in a similar fashion to that where “fat-free” doesn’t refer to fat-free. Most of the people have walked down this road and couldn’t get better results and they discovered where they had actually been going wrong.
  • The other group is that one that compares symptoms online lists or rules out. Every person’s reaction is 100 percent unique. To a given group it will attack the glandular system and will experience thyroid complications. Bloating, obesity, and cramps are not easy conditions to live with. It is not to rule out celiac disease because you went online and discovered the symptoms you are experiencing are somehow different from what you read. It is not an easy thing to deal with when the condition graduates to become cancer since that will come with much suffering and also use many resources.


Upon understanding what gluten is and the importance of a gluten-free diet, one must develop a positive attitude and an in-depth understanding of people. It is a great way to make the dietary transition a lot easier. Let’s for a moment face it once and for all.

Do you have anything else to add to our list of topics on gluten? Tell us in the comments section below!

Up Next: Gluten Disorder | Increase in Gluten Disorder

Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on June 15, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the nutritional products mentioned is intended to Diagnose, Treat, Cure, or Prevent Any Disease.