Gluten Free Facts – Is Gluten Bad For You?
The gluten-free sector of the food market has been growing rapidly in the last couple of years. In the years leading to 2014, sales of gluten-free products grew 34% annually. In 2015, the global market for gluten-free products market was valued at $4.63 Billion. It is projected to grow to $7.59 Billion by 2020.
These days, an ever increasing number and variety of gluten-free products are lining the shelves of grocery stores. But what is all the hype about and why are people turning to a gluten free diet?
What is Gluten, Really?
Jimmy Kimmel Live did a funny video segment called “What is Gluten?” where they interviewed people who actively avoid gluten. They were asked to explain what gluten really was. For all their passion in advocating a gluten free diet, they could not really explain what it was!
So what is gluten? Gluten is a type of protein (actually 2 proteins called gliadin and glutenin, if we are to be scientific about it) naturally found in wheat including its many forms such as spelt, kamut, farro, and bulgur.
It is also found in barley, rye and triticale, a cross between wheat and rye. In baked goods, it gives elasticity to the dough and it is what gives bread its chewy texture.
Many people believe that gluten is also found in ALL grain. This is an absolute misconception. There are several grains that are naturally gluten-free and the list includes rice, corn, popcorn, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, sorghum, teff, and oats.
Gluten Free Facts – Is Gluten Bad
More and more people are opting to go on gluten-free diets. But is gluten really bad? The fact is, gluten is indeed bad BUT for only certain people. It is especially bad for people with celiac disease.
With this autoimmune condition, the body’s immune system reacts to gluten by damaging the lining of the small intestines, which affects the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. When this happens, chronic malnutrition occurs resulting in weight loss and exhaustion.
About 1 in 133 people are affected by celiac disease.
A larger group of people are diagnosed to have “non-celiac gluten sensitivity”. Patients with this condition experience many celiac disease symptoms such as diarrhea, fatigue and joint pain but don’t exhibit damage to the small intestine.
Another group of people who need to avoid wheat, and gluten are those with wheat allergies. For people afflicted with this condition, they have an allergic response to wheat (and gluten) that would include skin, respiratory and gastrointestinal problems.
There have been studies conducted that many brain disorders are associated with gluten and patients suffering from them see significant improvements when they are put on a gluten free diet.
The brain disorders that respond well to having gluten taken out of the diet are schizophrenia, autism and epilepsy.
Why Choose To Go Gluten-Free
With allergies and intolerances growing more and more common, people who do not necessarily have gluten intolerance or sensitivity are opting to avoid gluten in their diets. According to the Mayo Clinic, 80% of people on gluten-free diets do not have a celiac disease diagnosis.
A gluten-free diet can have a variety of health benefits. It can improve cholesterol levels, promote digestive health and increase energy levels for people suffering gluten intolerance.
More importantly, in choosing to go on a gluten-free diet, you are actually eliminating many foods that are unhealthy:
Aside from avoiding unhealthy foods, a gluten free diet encourages eating of more fruits and vegetables for the simple reason that these food sources are non-starchy and more importantly, largely gluten-free.
Additionally, a majority of foods that you consume on a gluten free diet can help with healthy weight loss. Just remember to eat a well balanced mix of protein, carbohydrates and fats.
And because a gluten free diet has eliminated a lot of foods that are unhealthy for you, it can help reduce risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and other conditions such as diabetes.
Because a gluten free diet is basically composed of foods that are rich in antioxidants, as well as essential vitamins and minerals, it can also help boost your immunity against viruses and germs.
If you have decided to go on a gluten free diet, just keep the following in mind – it can only work for you if you remember to mind your portions, eat a healthy combination of protein, carbohydrates and fats, and pay attention to your labels because gluten free may not always mean healthy.
Gluten Free Facts – Olive Oil and Vinegars
Cibaria International has long been a leading supplier of olive oils and balsamic vinegar. We procure the very finest products from some of the oldest and the most traditional olive oil and balsamic vinegar producing families in the Mediterranean, making them readily available in bulk and wholesale quantities to our customers.
With products you can trust, service you can count on, and unparalleled dedication to being the best that we can be, Cibaria International has long been a leading supplier of olive oils and balsamic vinegar from around the world to every segment of the food industry across America and Canada. All Cibaria products are Gluten Free.
Tags: health risk, Gluten Free, wheat, celiac disease, diet, brain disease, cancer, autism