WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GLUTEN?
Going gluten-free has recently become more popular due to consumers becoming more in-tune with their bodies & educated about what they eat. Most people have at least heard the term “gluten,” but many are still left in the dark wondering what it even is.
Gluten is the complex of proteins found in wheat, rye, barley & sometimes oats. It's a glue-like substance that gives many food products their chewiness or elasticity. Gluten is in many common foods such as bread, pizza crust, pasta, cakes, pies, etc. It can also be in many other less-obvious products such as beer, soy sauce, salad dressings, soups, etc.
Many people are becoming aware of negative reactions in their bodies due to digesting gluten, which is referred to as a gluten intolerance or sensitivity. Gluten is also the culprit for Celiac Disease, an illness where the small intestines have been damaged by consuming gluten. Patients with Celiac may or may not have noticeable symptoms. (You can go to celiaccentral.org to see a list of Celiac symptoms.)
Gluten sensitivity (IgG or IgA antibodies) differs from an allergy (IgE antibodies) in that the reaction is delayed vs. immediate. Allergic reactions are always noticeable, whereas reactions resulting from food intolerances may or may not be detectable. With both allergies & intolerances, one’s body mistakenly perceives the innocuous food as a dangerous invader that needs to be attacked.
UNSUSPECTING PRODUCTS CONTAINING GLUTEN
Here's a short list of common household products & ingredients that you may not have realized contain gluten.
- Garnier Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
- Kellogg's Corn Flakes (due to Malt Flavoring, usually from Barley)
- Kraft Homemade Dressing Kit (wheat)
- Lays BBQ Chips (due to Barley)
- Maltodextrin (typically it's from corn but can contain gluten if derived from wheat)
- Play-Doh (wheat flour)
- Rice Krispies (due to Malt, most likely from Barley)
- Soy Sauce (most brands)
WHAT IS CASEIN?
Many people who are intolerant to gluten are also intolerant to dairy, specifically casein. Casein, like whey, is a type of protein in dairy foods. Casein is found in milk, cheese, yogurt, butter & ice cream. It can also be added to products you wouldn’t expect, such as vegetarian cheeses.
For more info on gluten-free living, please read:
GLUTEN-FREE DAIRY-FREE CANDY LIST
POOP & SPIT…THE BEST WAYS TO DETERMINE IF YOU’RE GLUTEN INTOLERANT
Please share if you've discovered gluten or casein in any unsuspecting products.