What is Gluten and what foods contain it? This article contains the definition of Gluten, some Gluten foods, reference links for more information and some food substitutes.
A brief definition of Gluten:
A protein composite of gliadin & glutelin found in foods processed with Wheat (Gliadin) and/or other grass related grains such as Barley (Hordein) and Rye (Secalin). It helps hold dough together and give it elasticity, rise and shape. It is also added to products otherwise considered low in protein.
Kneading helps to promote Gluten and form bonds; apparently the chewier the product the more Gluten. Which by all intents and purposes means that pastry (hello croissant/doughnut) have less gluten in it than say a coarse, chewy Rye bread.
Gluten is water insoluable. It helps trap carbon dioxide in the bread during the rising process. (Just an aside but maybe these very reasons are why we bloat and cannot digest it-but I am not a Dr. or Scientist or even Chef so what do I know?).
Gluten is an additive to a multitude of surprising products; for instance; flavour packages, seasonings, binders in medicine/vitamins, sauces, etc. It is also used in processed foods such as; meatballs, processed meats/fish, vegan foods, frozen entrees and even broth. It can also be used as a stabilizing ingredient in Ice Cream and Ketchup.
Before buying products, please refer to the links below. Each governing regulatory body has “Gluten Free” Labelling standards. A product does not necessarily have to really and truly be 100% Gluten Free – to be listed as such. Product labels do not list Gluten as a singular ingredient. Become knowledgeable on what does contain Gluten. Look for obvious ingredient listed: wheat, barley and/or rye or look for: this can be with wheat- or barley-derived enzymes.
It may seem overwhelming when you realize how much of our food contains Gluten. You may think – how can I do this diet – and afford it? It really isn’t all that bad. 30 years ago a Gluten Free diet would require Herculean effort, not the case today. Gluten Free products are easily accessible and affordable; now available through grocery stores, Costco and even fast food restaurants. Some places, like specialty Health Food Stores or Gluten Free Bakeries may charge higher prices for Gluten Free foods. However, once you get used to Gluten Free and try some things out, you will know what is worth the money and what isn’t.
In following articles I will give a list of some Gluten Free products, recipes and substitutes.
If you are eating a processed diet you are certainly consuming Gluten. In order for the diet to work, in my opinion only, you would have to take out ALL Gluten from your diet.