Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in many types of foods, even ones that would not be expected.
THE BIG 3 THAT CONTAIN GLUTEN: WHEAT, BARLEY, RYE
WHEAT is commonly found in:
● bread & baked goods
● soups & sauces
● salad dressings
BARLEY is commonly found in:
● malt (malted barley flour, malted milk and milkshakes, malt extract, malt syrup, malt flavoring, malt vinegar)
● food coloring
● Brewer’s Yeast
RYE is commonly found in:
● rye bread, such as pumpernickel
● rye beer
OTHER GRAINS THAT CONTAIN GLUTEN: TRITICALE and OATS
TRITICALE is a newer grain, specifically grown to have a similar quality as wheat, while being tolerant to a variety of growing conditions like rye. It can potentially be found in:
If you are on a gluten-free diet, the Celiac Disease Foundation medical experts recommend consuming oats labeled gluten-free as cross-contact may occur when oats are grown side-by-side with wheat, barley or rye.
HOW MANY AMERICANS ARE IMPACTED BY GLUTEN?
According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, millions of Americans live with Celiac disease or have a gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. Two and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications. When people with celiac disease eat gluten, their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small fingerlike projections that line the small intestine, that promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body.
Some people have Hashimoto’s Disease/Hypothyroidism. Numerous studies have linked an immune reaction to gluten with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism. Gluten triggers an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland. Removing gluten from the diet is the first step for people with Hashimoto’s. Most people do not even know they are sensitive to gluten.
***Look out for our upcoming articles & blogs which discuss the journey of people who have to be on a gluten-free diet for the rest of their life. I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease 2 years ago, thanks to a top-quality alternative medicine doctor. I am glad that I found a doctor who understood that I wasn’t imagining the symptoms. My conventional medicine doctor had no idea why I wasn’t feeling well, and just dismissed my symptoms.
Since going gluten-free, I have had to give up some of my favorite food like pasta and bread, but it is worth it because I feel SO much better. Many grocery stores carry gluten-free items, and there are restaurants who also have gluten-free options on their menu. Not to mention, there are many delicious gluten-free recipes I can make at home.