It seems like the word “gluten” just popped up overnight, doesn’t it?
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It’s like, we all woke up one morning and suddenly all of our friends and their children have “gluten allergies”. You’ve probably thought, “Ugh. I’ve lost another one to the “gluten-free lifestyle” trend.
If you haven’t already thought one of these questions, I’m sure you are now:
- How do you know if you can’t eat gluten foods?
- What foods have gluten in them?
- Is it really something that people can seriously be allergic to?
- Should you be avoiding gluten like it’s the plague?
- Is gluten free really just a trend?
Slow down! Don’t worry! I’m happy to answer some questions for you all!!
Let me first start off by telling you what gluten itself actually is: Gluten is basically what the first part of the word sounds like…glue. No, no. Not like a craft glue.
Gluten is a source of protein found in nature, that is used primarily to hold foods together and help them maintain their shape. Really it is just a binding agent. Have you ever seen any food items that were labeled gluten free? Maybe something like a bread or crackers? If you have, than you more than likely noticed that the food began to crumble and turn into a mess when you took it out of its packaging. Sure starchy/baked foods tend to crumble in general, but the gluten free versions tend do so MUCH quicker.
(CLICK HERE for the extended, more descriptive definition of gluten.)
Now let’s go back to all those questions you had. To save some time, let me answer the 2 most common questions people have about gluten:
How do you know if you can’t eat / are allergic to foods containing gluten?
Well, most people tend to have pretty exaggerated reactions when it comes to gluten, if they have an issue with it. Being allergic doesn’t always mean you will just sneeze and have a runny nose and itchy eyes from your allergen. In fact, gluten allergies often go unnoticed due to the poor nutritional habits of most Americans today.
However, some of the most common symptoms of gluten allergies are:
- severe stomach bloating
- struggles with bowel movements
- excessive bowel movements
- an immediate or delayed rash
- facial swelling
- joint inflammation
- extreme fatigue
What foods contain gluten?
When most people find out that they have what is socially considered to be a gluten allergy, they panic – especially parents of children. People tend to think that if they can’t have foods with gluten, then there isn’t going to be anything left; that they are going to have to live off of air and water.
A parents “go to” snack for their kid is often crackers and sandwiches, so when then hear that their kid has a gluten allergy, they more or less think that the world has come to an end. Far from it, guys.
The link below, will provide you with a list of the most commonly consumed gluten filled foods in America today. Do take a second to notice as you read down this list, that the trend here is PROCESSED foods. https://celiac.org/live-gluten-free/glutenfreediet/sources-of-gluten/
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