What is Gluten and why one should chose gluten free diet?

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Shekoufeh Demoing for Glutenull

In the past 2 weeks I had an opportunity to do some demos for Glutenull Bakery Company. They are the only Certified gluten-free bakery in west Canada. While I was doing the demo and sampling out the gluten-free breads and sweets, many people were wondering what Gluten is and why we should avoid it in our diet. So I decide to write a post about it since it might be a question for many of us.

Gluten is composite form of several proteins which can be found mainly in wheat, Rye, Barley, Spelt, and Oats. In Latin it means “glu” and literally it is like glue, which in baking is useful for making dough and cause the bread to rise and become chewy.

Many people have sensitivity to Gluten or they are gluten intolerance that can alter their health. According to Canadian Digestive Health Foundation 20 million people suffer from Digestive problems every year, and from those 330 000 people suffer from Celiac disease. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder that absorptive lining of small intestine get damaged that is no longer able to absorb nutrients such as Protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and basically anything that is required for good health.

You don’t have to have celiac disease to avoid Gluten, in many situations people with only some sensitivity which increases over the time can show up wide range of symptoms that I listed below:

  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Nutritional deficiencies due to malabsorption e.g. low iron levels
  • gastrointestinal problems (bloating, pain, gas, constipation, diarrhea)
  • Fat in the stools (due to poor digestion)

    Image courtesy of little Natural Cottage

  • Aching joints
  • Depression
  • Eczema
  • Head aches
  • Exhaustion
  • Irritability and behavioral changes
  • Infertility, irregular menstrual cycle and miscarriage
  • Cramps, tingling and numbness
  • Slow infant and child growth
  • Decline in dental health

So bottom line, if you think you have Gluten intolerance or some sensitivity; avoid Gluten! If you are not sure your digestive problem is related to Gluten you can simply avoid Gluten for 2-4 weeks, if you feel better, then here you go….stay off of Gluten. Also there is a test that you can ask from your health practitioner that will determine if you have Celiac Disease.

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