Gluten-free foods, to eat or not to eat?
Is gluten just bran?
The edible portion of a grain consisting, from the outside to the inside, chiefly of the bran, endosperm, and germ. The bran is the outermost edible part of wheat, which is mainly composed of dietary fiber. Gluten is a nutrient in the endosperm. The endosperm of wheat is mainly starch, but also contains gluten and glycolin, a complex of these two proteins called gluten. The word “gluten” may be new to you, but when it comes to gluten, you’re probably familiar with it. Our common gluten is actually gluten. When making dough, gluten proteins absorb water and expand, then bond to each other to form gluten, giving the dough its elasticity and toughness.
The most common gluten is gluten
Gluten proteins absorb water and give the dough its elasticity and toughness
What is a gluten-free diet?
As the name suggests, a gluten-free diet is one that excludes all foods that contain gluten. However, gluten is found in all kinds of foods made from wheat, barley, and rye, such as bread, cakes, biscuits, beer, soy sauce, and even in certain food additives (such as maltodextrin, germ oil, etc.). If you follow a gluten-free diet, you can say goodbye to all of these foods.
However, oats, quinoa and buckwheat do not contain gluten, despite having the same word for wheat. In fact, many grains are naturally gluten-free, such as rice, corn, and sorghum. However, it is important to note that many oatmeal products are made with gluten to supplement gluten, so consumers should pay attention to the “gluten-free” label on the packaging when purchasing oatmeal.
Who needs a gluten-free diet?
The gluten-free diet is primarily targeted at people with celiac disease, wheat-sensitive people without celiac disease, and people with wheat allergies.
Among them, celiac disease (also known as gelatinous bowel disease) is a chronic, multi-organ autoimmune disease. Because of their genetic predisposition, people with celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten. After eating gluten, their immune system attacks their tissues, causing diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, dermatitis herpetiformis, weight loss, anemia and other symptoms. If gluten is consumed continuously, it eventually causes the villi in the small intestine to atrophy and the body can’t absorb nutrients properly. Currently, the only treatment for celiac disease is a strict lifelong gluten-free diet.
In people with celiac disease, gluten triggers a specific immune response; In wheat-sensitive people without celiac disease, gluten triggers a congenital immune response that can lead to inflammation in the gut, causing symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea or constipation. Therefore, non-celiac wheat-sensitive patients also need a gluten-free diet.
People who are allergic to wheat can eat barley and rye but not wheat and its products, so a gluten-free diet is an option for them.
Is a gluten-free diet for the average person?
Gluten-free diets have become so popular in recent years that even drinking water has been labeled gluten-free to boost sales. The big claim about a gluten-free diet is that it’s good for weight loss, but is it?
In fact, gluten-free eaters have strict guidelines for the types of staple foods they can choose from, and those who lose weight naturally cut back on their energy intake by cutting out any meal staple that doesn’t meet the requirements, let alone high-calorie pastries. But it has nothing to do with the gluten-free diet itself. In other words, if you control your energy intake in other ways, you’ll lose weight too.
For the average person, there’s no particular benefit to a gluten-free diet. Conversely, cutting out gluten may lead to a low intake of whole grains, which can lead to deficiencies in vitamins B12, folate, zinc, magnesium, selenium, calcium and other nutrients that are detrimental to cardiovascular health. In addition, gluten-free products are highly processed to ensure taste and may have more sugar and oil added to them, thus increasing the risk of metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
Overall, there is no need for the average person to blindly follow the trend of a gluten-free diet. It is recommended to eat more whole grains to ensure a balanced diet. What’s more, gluten-free food is much more expensive than regular food.
Is the “gluten-free” label valid?
Some imported foods are labeled “gluten-free,” but they are not completely gluten-free. Under European Union rules, such labels can be added to foods as long as they contain no more than 20mg of gluten per kilogram. If you’re sensitive to trace amounts of gluten, look carefully at the ingredient list when you buy packaged foods, and look for a note near the ingredient list that says, “This product line used to produce foods containing gluten.”