What is Gluten?

Posted by Jennifer Gebbie on August 21, 2013 in FYI, Definitions

We hear the word gluten and gluten free, but does anyone know what it really means?Most of us know gluten as gooey texture that makes our bread soft and moist. 

BreadWhen having the "gluten"conversation with people, they often say "well I don't eat a lot of bread and pasta - I don't eat that much gluten". However, what most people do not realize is with the industrial revolution came the ability to mass produce gluten. Instead of gluten just being in the bread we eat, it can also be found in toothpaste, tea, coffee, cereals, crackers, chips, yogurt, candy, sauces, cooking sprays, nuts, meats, lipstick, body lotion - the list goes on! 

When I tell people I no longer eat gluten or any grains their first question is "well then, what do you eat?" And the answer is a lot -- it just does not come in the form of a package or down the center isles of grocery stores. We will get into healthy eating later, but for now lets understand what gluten really is. 

Gluten is a protein found in all grains. Gluten is made up of two primary components - prolamines and glutelins. Unfortunately there is only one type of prolamine (aka gluten) that is really studied today - gliadin, as the medical world uses this to define causes of celiac disease. More recent studies have confirmed that different types of grain have different concentrations of gluten. Remember gluten is a protein that is found in all grains. As you can see from the diagram below, corn is almost as toxic as wheat, but the FDA and food manufactures have yet to acknowledge that corn has higher levels of gluten proteins than barley, rye, and oats. Now if you have celiac disease or are gluten sensitive, the % of gluten does not matter, but it is important to understand why your body is still struggling to heal.

Dr. Osborne shares what the 4 different studies on the toxicity corn gluten has on people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. 


The FDA's recent announcement defining gluten free has continued to neglect studies such as these when defining gluten. They determined that gluten is only found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. But guess what the number one subsidy in the U.S. is - CORN! Over the past 17 years, corn has received $84.4 billion in funding. Wheat is not even a close second, as they only received $35.5 billion! 

I do not know about you, but I'm not going to trust the politics that is associated with $84.4 billion in funding. Marion Nestle's Book Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health opened my eyes to this world. 

To be true gluten free you have to remove all grains from your diet. If you know someone who is suffering from celiac diesae or gluten sensitivity please share this with them -- I promise they will thank you :) 


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