“Gluten is a composite formed from several different proteins. It is found most commonly in wheat and other related grains, such as barley and rye. Adding texture and a characteristic chewiness to baked goods, this ingredient is used in a wide variety of other foods as a thickener and binder, flavour enhancer, and protein supplement. Some people can develop an intolerance to these proteins, however; a gluten-free diet often helps to alleviate symptoms caused by this intolerance and prevents further damage to the body.” [wisegeek.com]
Foods Containing Gluten
One common food that contains gluten is wheat but you may be surprised to learn that gluten is used as a thickener in many soups, gravies, ketchups, salad dressings and breakfast cereals. Since it enhances flavour, it is also used in other foods such as dairy products and vinegars. It can also be found in the substance used to seal envelopes since it acts as a stabilizer.
A small but significant proportion of the population may suffer from some form of gluten sensitivity (could be between 5 and 10%). Many people are not aware of their intolerance but it may be the source of many health issues.
If you do have an intolerance to gluten, your body will produce an abnormal immune response in the presence of wheat or its proteins. Usual symptoms may include digestive problems, bloating, weight loss, fatigue, breathing difficulties and, in more serious cases, life-threatening anaphylaxis (serious allergic reaction).
It is very difficult to avoid gluten altogether as it is hidden in so many foods. A trip to the supermarket can often become an ordeal, trying to find alternatives. However, if you suspect that you have a gluten-intolerance (if you can identify any of the symptoms listed above), it is worth the effort to find those alternatives.
Most supermarkets (if not all) now have a ‘free-from’ range of products such as bread, pasta, gravy mixes, sauces etc. It is imperative to read the label before purchasing any product.
The BEST way to know if you have an intolerance to gluten is to detox. This means avoiding gluten, wheat and dairy for starters but also alcohol, sugar and processed foods. Do this for 5 weeks and you may well see a dramatic change to your health and wellbeing. If you then ate something containing gluten on day 36 (after the detox), you would soon know if you have an intolerance.
Some of my clients, who have followed my detox plan, have reported the following benefits:
- Less bloated
- More energy
- Better skin condition and tone
- Improved sleep
- Healthy weight loss
- An all-round alertness
If you want to try my detox plan, get in touch.
Paul Edgar on 07990 583034