Most people can consume gluten without feeling any side effect, however, people with gluten intolerance, celiac disease, or a wheat allergy can’t tolerate it and should avoid gluten; or they risk experiencing severe discomfort and adverse health effects, such as osteoporosis.
Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains, including wheat, rye and barley.
When flour mixes with water, the gluten proteins form a sticky network that has a glue-like consistency.
This glue-like property makes the dough elastic and gives bread the ability to rise during baking. It also provides a chewy, satisfying texture. Interestingly, the name gluten derives from this glue-like property of wet dough.
What’s Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten intolerance, and affects about 1% of the population. It is an autoimmune disorder in which the body treats gluten as a foreign invader. The immune system attacks the gluten, as well as the lining of the gut, causing tissue damage in the small intestines.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity
Many people do not test positive for celiac disease but still react negatively to gluten. This condition is called non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and causes symptoms like diarrhea, stomach pain, tiredness, bloating, and depression.
Foods to Avoid
Completely removing gluten from your diet can be challenging as it is a common ingredient in many foods. The main sources of gluten are:
• Wheat-based foods; wheat-bran or flour, spelt, durum, Kamut and semolina
• Brewer’s yeast
Some foods that usually contain gluten are; Breads, Pastas, Cereals (unless labeled gluten-free), Baked goods such as cakes, cookies, muffins, pizza, bread crumbs and pastries, etc.
Going gluten-free isn’t easy and means rethinking how you shop, cook and order in restaurants. However, with education and effort you can make confident choices about foods that taste good and are suitable for you.
Unlike many modern diets, the gluten-free diet is more than just a fad, since for many people, it’s a medical necessity. Even a decade ago, the gluten-free diet was largely a mystery, except to people with celiac disease. Today, however, going gluten-free has become something of a trend. Restaurants have started to offer gluten-free menus, and gluten-free food companies are becoming more and more numerous. Today, more than ever, it’s easy to follow the gluten-free diet without completely overhauling your life. If you are considering making the switch to the gluten-free diet and don’t know how to start, we are here to help you.
Gluten-Free with Newton Park SUPERSPAR and substitute all your staple foods with non-gluten versions available in our Naturals department. It is important to be aware when buying each snack and food item by paying attention to their labels, ensuring they are gluten-free – this is because most products have gluten hidden in them.