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So what's so bad about Gluten?


Over the last few years I’ve noticed that the term ‘Gluten Free’ has started to appear on many food labels. It’s being treated like a ‘naughty’ ingredient on par with fatty acids. So I decided to take a closer look to find out what it actually is and if I should actually be avoiding it.

From what I’ve discovered gluten is present in most breads, pasta, breakfast cereal, beer and baked goods. It’s actually a protein found in wheat, rye, spelt, kamut, barley, malts, oats and triticale.

So why is it so bad if humans have been munching on bread and pasta for thousands of years? And why is it that so many people nowadays are intolerant to gluten?

From what I’ve discovered the people who should be staying away from Gluten are those who are suffering from a disease called Celiac which is also known as Coeliac.

Celiacs cannot eat foods containing gluten, because it reacts with their small intestine and stops them from absorbing nutrients. Leading to weight loss, lack of energy, irritable bowel syndrome abdominal pains, vomiting, and digestive upsets. If untreated it can lead to anemia, malnutrition, osteoporosis and can increase chances of bowel cancer.

You can’t get Celiac disease because it’s genetically passed on. Only 1 in 30 people get coeliac disease, and it may not appear until later in life. In Australia it’s estimated that 160,000 people suffer from this disease.
It’s interesting to note that environmental factors can trigger the disease. This perhaps helps explain why there has been an increase in the number of people who have gluten intolerances in recent years.

So what other grains and cereals can someone who is intolerant to gluten have?

Maize (corn), millet, sorghum, teff, rice, and wild rice as well as non cereals such as amaranth, quinoa or buckwheat.
Not all carbohydrates include gluten, there are a variety of non-cereal carbohydrate-rich foods such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, peas, and bananas which do not contain gluten and do not trigger symptoms.

If you’d like to know about Celiac disease visit these websites:


What do you think?