What is Gluten? …

Written by Eric Ulchakere

May 20, 2020

Like so many of the blog posts I write, I’m writing this not because I don’t think you know what gluten is, but because I know I don’t know what gluten is. All I know—or knew, before doing a little research—was that most bread and pasta have gluten, and that “gf” does not stand for “girlfriend” when written next to a meal on a restaurant menu.

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, “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.”

Basically, gluten is a form of protein that is often found in bread, but can be present in a wide variety of foods. According to Medical News Today, most people can eat gluten without suffering any health issues. However, people with certain health conditions, such as celiac disease, have to avoid gluten entirely.

So how does gluten affect us, if we don’t have celiac disease or a form of gluten intolerance? Harvard Health Publishing says you’re fine to eat gluten, as “There is no compelling evidence that a gluten-free diet will improve health if you don’t have celiac disease. The same is true if you can eat gluten without trouble. Of course, future research could change this. We may someday learn that at least some people without celiac disease or symptoms of intestinal disease are better off avoiding gluten.”

That is to say, if your doctor hasn’t advised you against consuming gluten, current research claims you’re fine to consume it.

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