I ran across this video today from Jimmy Kimmel Live asking people why they hate gluten. Do you think they could answer correctly? Check it out below:
So here comes the problem...some people are bashing gluten and going gluten-free but have no idea why! While it is a good thing to eliminate gluten in your diet for many people, it really helps to understand why. So I am here to save the day for those who are gluten-free but not sure how to explain it! If you want people to take your gluten-free lifestyle seriously, you really need to know how to back it up. Most people know that it makes them feel poopy when they eat it (literally), but that's not enough. You need to know WHAT in the HECK it is and not get caught off guard like the peeps in the video above.
So here we go: Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains like barley, rye and spelt. Gluten is the magic that helps bread rise and keep its shape. For those with Celiac Disease (an auto-immune disorder) and those with gluten sensitivity/intolerance, these proteins can cause all kinds of uncomfortable symptoms ranging from bloating and gas to diarrhea and more. It isn't pretty and it sure isn't fun.
To get more scientifical (that's a word, right?)... Gliadin is one of the proteins found in wheat. For one with Celiac, this little protein literally causes the immune system to attack the bowel tissue. It causes villous atrophy, which is the erosion of the nutrient-absorbing villi that line the small intestine. And by the way, did you know your small intestine is WAY longer than your large intestine? True story.
So is bread the only place we are exposed to gluten? Heck no. Gluten is found in personal care products, vitamins, medication and some brands of French fries, hot dogs, soy sauce and even hot chocolate. So be weary if you see a product labeled "Wheat Free" as this doesn't mean gluten-free. There could be barley, rye or spelt instead.
Hope this helps to get the basic understanding of what gluten is and how to pass the test if Jimmy Kimmel decides to interview YOU about your GF lifestyle!
My mission as a Certified Health Coach is to make the world a happier, healthier place, one person, one meal at a time, with love and gratitude. I work to inspire others to live a life of prevention and overall wellness!