Gluten 101

5/23/12
If you’ve been grocery shopping recently, chances are you’ve noticed the increased volume of products labeled “gluten free” on the shelves. This is due to an increased awareness of “gluten intolerance” in America. It’s also becoming increasingly popular to eat gluten-free in Hollywood, which I think contributes to the hype.

 

If you’re like me, you have probably wondered, “What’s this “gluten” business is all about?” Gluten is basically a protein found it wheat and related grains. It gives dough a certain elasticity, helping it to rise and keep shape, ultimately giving it a chewy texture. You also may be wondering, like me, “If it’s a protein, then why is it so bad for you?” Well, think about lactose intolerance. Lactose isn’t bad for you. When you are born, the first (and only) thing you can have for the first 5 months of your life is milk. So, if God intended us to drink lactose from day one, how can it be bad? Well, the short answer is: it’s not. It’s only bad for the rare few who have developed an allergy to lactose.

Similarly, gluten intolerance only affects .5-1% of Americans. Whoa, wait, .5-1%?! Then why are we hearing so much about it? I believe it’s like cancer. Cancer was around long before anyone knew what to call it and how to diagnose it. With increased screening for gluten related disorders, such as Celiac disease, awareness is all the sudden booming. Personally, I think it’s becoming more of a diet fad with most people, and that a large number of “gluten intolerance” cases are hypochondriacal (not to discount that there are some out there who have a very real illness).

Celiac disease is a very rare disorder, and it is often confused with a wheat allergy. It is important to note that the two are not the same! Celiac disease is an abnormal immune response to gliadin (a type of gluten), that affects nutrient absorption, causing an inflammatory reaction in the small-bowel tissue. This can be quite uncomfortable, but not always. Accompanying symptoms may include: diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, cramping, etc. Celiac is usually a genetic predisposition, and the only known “cure” is to eat a 100% gluten-free diet, for life.

A wheat allergy is just that: an allergy to wheat. Wheat allergy sufferers do not have to ingest wheat to feel its affects. It can be inhaled (like any other airborne allergen) or accidentally consumed by something as simple as using a contaminated eating utensil (for example, if you’re sharing food with someone). There are 27 different types of possible wheat allergies (one of which is gluten), all differing in symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. Therefore, if you have a wheat allergy, you may or may not be gluten-intolerant.

So, how do you even eat gluten free? Well, it’s not easy, and it’s not cheap. It takes awareness, effort, and an increased budget for groceries. First, look for “gluten free” on the label. That’s a dead give away. (Note: “Wheat free” does not mean “gluten free”, as I mentioned earlier, as gluten can come from other grain related sources.) You can also look for words like “wheat” or “starch” in the ingredient list. Stay away from those, as they usually mean gluten is present. Finally, read the allergen statement. If it lists “wheat allergy”, then it is likely that it contains gluten.

I hope this gives you a little more insight to what gluten is, and how it affects you. I invite anyone to leave feedback regarding your experience and knowledge on eating gluten-free and Celiac disease, as I do not suffer from these myself, and am writing as an outsider.

Compliments of Holly first to post “constructive” feedback get any 3 products on our page or a $25 gift card to our Flower Mound, Frisco or McKinney locations.  GOOD LUCK!  Don’t forget to hit the Like button to share our blogs with your friends ;)

Until next time, age well and live long!

Freelance Writer- Holly Bone

This post is that of a freelance writer and not an employee or affiliate of Moni’s Natural or its subsidiaries nor reflects the views we may.

 

7 thoughts on “Gluten 101

  1. Lorynn R. on said:

    I <3 Moni's & <3 that they are making products everyone can enjoy!!!!

  2. Moni's Natural on said:

    Lorynn! We will be emailing you soon to get you your products or gift card, whatever you choose.

    THANKS for all the kind words :)

  3. Rachel Anderson on said:

    I love that Moni’s has these products available. I havent gotten to try anything of theirs yet but can already tell by the quality ingredients it will be yummy and healhty. The world needs companies like these for ethical healthy products that influance wellness. Thanks for making!
    Rachel~

  4. Holly on said:

    One of the first reasons I purchased Moni’s was because it was locally made ( I live in Frisco). We fell in love with the salad dressings we bought at Whole Foods. We were at Costco one day, and Moni’s pasta sauce was there. Yummy! We were so glad to have another Moni’s product. Thanks for such wonderful products for all.

  5. Moni's Natural on said:

    Thank you Holly and Rachel! Keep an eye on our next post and we will give away more to the first person to post :) Make sure you like our Facebook page :) Have a great holiday weekend!

  6. Ashley on said:

    I think it wonderful that you provide this information about gluten. My mother in law has celiac disease, and we are now in the process of testing my sweet husband. We love all of your food, as you know we ar faithful customers. I am grateful that we can still use Moni’s and eat at Luigi’s even if he test positive for celiac. At least we know he can still dip his gluten free food in his favorite dressing!

    • Moni's Natural on said:

      Thank you Ashley! We really enjoy comments from our customers and it encourages us to write more on our blog, so please share your experiences.

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Gluten 101
Gluten 101