How Gluten Affects Your Health and 5 Things You Didn’t Know About It
While there has been some push-back against the gluten-free movement that seems to be taking the world by storm, the trend of going gluten free does not show any indication of slowing down anytime soon. According to recently released statistics, approximately 30 percent of adults polled in the U.S. admit that they are making an effort to remove Gluten from their diet. Additionally, an internet search on the term “gluten” will literally produce nearly 100 million search results, which is indicative of just how possessed with Gluten the public has become.
On a weekly basis, more and more people are jumping on the Gluten bandwagon for one reason or another. For individuals who have decided to monitor their gluten intake, following are five things that you should be aware of moving forward.
1. Despite Recent Concerns, Gluten May Not Be the Cause of Celiac Disease
A recent study conducted by Columbia University revealed that the enigmatic symptoms associated with celiac disease may be caused by wheat proteins other than gluten. Gluten is the primary protein found in wheat; however, a significant number of the subjects that participated in the study had allergic reactions to proteins other than gluten, implying that there is still a substantial amount yet to be learned about the disease. This does not, however, eliminate the concerns about gluten.
RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Signs You are Gluten Intolerant
2. Gluten-free Labels are Now Standardized
Until recently, there were no standardized regulations as far as what constituted “gluten-free,” meaning that product suppliers have been participating in a free-for-all as far as gluten-free claims are concerned. However, a ruling this past August by the FDA has provided greater clarity to what can be considered a gluten-free product. The new standard is identical to the standards in Europe and Canada, meaning that to qualify as gluten free, a food product has to contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. This standardized designation will make it easier for consumers to know what they are getting when they choose a gluten-free product.
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3. Gluten-free Fast Food May not be Safe
There are a number of fast food restaurants that are offering Gluten-free products, including Domino’s and Pizza Hut; however, the fact that the Pizzas are prepared in the same kitchen as the pizza containing gluten means that they cannot be considered to be safe for everyone, especially for individuals who are suffering with celiac disease. This same risk is likely prevalent in all other fast food restaurants. Some establishments, such as Burger King, specifically state their gluten-free menu is not designated for individuals suffering from celiac disease.
RELATED ARTICLE: Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity You Probably Don’t Know About
4. The Use of Food Sensors as Protective Mechanisms
There is a distinction between food allergies and gluten sensitivity or celiac disease; however, the way that the body responds to the presence of gluten can mimic allergic reactions to certain foods. In order to protect those who may be at high risk, food sensors are being developed to provide the capacity for individuals who suffer from celiac disease and gluten sensitivity to test food before consuming it. These sensors, which are being developed by 6 Sensor Labs, will provide disposable units that can be inserted into food to detect if gluten levels are high enough to be considered dangerous.
5. The Added Risks of Gluten Consumption
While all grains, that don’t contain gluten, including oats and corn, are harmful to the gut, due to gut-irritating lectins and mineral-binding phytates, grains like wheat, which contain gluten, are especially damaging, and it is responsible for causing inflammation in approximately 80 percent of the population, and 99 percent of the population have the genetic predisposition to develop sensitivity to gluten.
While most people have the luxury to indulge in unhealthy meals periodically, many experts suggest that grains that contain gluten should be avoided, especially by individuals who suffer from any type of autoimmune condition.[/nextpage]