Gluten: what it is, where it's found and the problems some people have with it
By Roy Kim, May 08 2014
If we could go back 10 years and ask random people on the street what gluten is, I’d guess the majority of people wouldn’t know. If we did the same thing today we would find a lot of people are allergic to gluten or on a gluten-free diet. There is a constant however, people have no idea what gluten is!
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, spelt, and rye. Gluten is the stuff that makes dough stretch the way it does. Gluten is what makes the bread you love chewy. Gluten is also not limited to bread, cereal and pasta. Gluten is very likely to be in beer, sauces and imitation meats. It’s also added to many food products you might not expect because it provides the desired consistency. In fact trying to totally eliminate gluten is going to be challenge. With the gluten-free diet being all the rage it is today, anyone selling a gluten-free product and not pointing it out must hate money! So unless it’s labeled as gluten-free, I’d bet you’ll find gluten inside.
If someone tells you they are allergic to gluten, they didn’t do their homework and probably just want attention. Gluten sensitivity is not an allergy but an intolerance. The most extreme cases are those with celiac disease. For those with gluten sensitivity, the consumption of gluten can lead to headaches, stomach aches, bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, and joint pain. It is highly recommended you get tested for celiac disease if you do notice that you don’t react well to gluten before dropping the gluten from your diet.