Among people who preach a healthy diet, the question of gluten is popular today. What it is? What is the harm of gluten? What products does it occur in? All this will be discussed in the article.
Gluten: what is it and why is it harmful?
Gluten (lat.gluten - glue) is a protein found in cereals. Its greatest content is determined in wheat: in the composition of grains 23,788 different proteins, united under the general name gluten, or gluten. Its suppliers are also rye, oats, barley.
Many avoid foods containing gluten. What is it and why is it harmful? An elastic rubber-like protein contains gliadin and glutenin. Gluten is determined in carbohydrate-containing products, in flour products, in some offal. Gluten can be detected even in ice cream. It does not dissolve in water, having passed hydration, forms fibers upon swelling. Gluten is widely used in the production of flour and products from it.
For most of the population, protein is not harmful to health. However, some people from birth have an allergic reaction to it. In this case, the harm of gluten is obvious, it becomes hazardous to health.
Gluten-rich foods in many people (1 out of a thousand) cause allergic intolerance. This phenomenon is an autoimmune disorder associated with malabsorption (insufficient absorption of substances by the body). Gluten-dependent enteropathy is manifested by pain in the abdomen, diarrhea.
Gluten-sensitive celiac disease is a more serious form of intolerance to the component. The disease is caused by an increase in the number of intraepithelial lymphocytes in the body having a specific receptor set. Gluten is defined by cells as a threat. The immune system destroys the villi on the walls of the small intestine. The consequence of the impossibility of complete breakdown of trace elements is the formation of toxic substances in the intestine and its trauma.
What else is gluten harmful? In adults with latent (hidden) forms of celiac disease, stool disorders, flatulence, bloating are noted. Often it is masked by various forms of gastrointestinal diseases, dermatological pathologies. After 30 years, an atypical form appears. Concomitant symptoms are characterized by joint pain, kidney disease, depression, migraine, changes in the biochemical composition of the blood. According to clinical studies, up to 8 percent of infertile women suffering from celiac disease gave birth safely, thanks to a gluten-free diet.
Since the main factor in gluten intolerance is a genetic predisposition to it. It is possible to diagnose celiac disease since childhood. In a child, gluten intolerance is manifested by a frequent mushy, foaming stool (from 5 times a day), smelling bad. Other signs are a large "rickety" belly, a noticeable underweight up to two years, and slow growth of the child.
An organism that is sick, the body does not receive the necessary trace elements, nutrients, vitamins. Hence, the accompanying signs of illness in children can be the presence of rapid fatigue, lethargy, emotional instability (tearfulness, aggression). Often sick children suffer from dermatitis, poor skin, frequent fractures, poor posture, anemia, diseases of the teeth and gums.
Boys, growing up, with gluten intolerance are subject to sexual dysfunction, and girls - a violation of the menstrual cycle.
The likelihood of complications of gluten intolerance
Gluten intolerance without treatment is fraught with serious complications. It can manifest itself in autoimmune hepatitis, autoimmune thyrotide, type 1 diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract up to oncological formations. Diseases of recurrent pericarditis, scleroderma, myasthenia, difficulties in conceiving a child can also be a consequence of advanced celiac disease.
Note: the critical limit of gluten content for people allergic to the component is 1 mg per 100g of product.
How to diagnose celiac disease?
Often, gluten intolerance is difficult to determine: the symptoms are similar to the symptoms of many diseases. For the most part, celiac disease is detected with a comprehensive diagnosis. Targeted identification is carried out in stages.
- At the first stage, an immunological study of the patient’s blood is mandatory: the blood is distinguished by autoimmune bodies, endomysia, and the level of antigliadin antibodies.
- Positive results for the gluten test lead to a biopsy: examine the mucous membrane of the small intestine. The procedure reveals atypical receptors in the lymphocytes, the state of the villi, and lesions. A biopsy confirms the preliminary diagnosis.
- The third, six-month, stage is the anti-gluten diet. General improvement, the disappearance of the symptoms of the disease finally determine celiac disease.
The main treatment is a gluten-free diet for life .
Gluten free: where is it?
Where is gluten contained? Wheat, barley, oats, rye - and all products from these cereals. Cereals of them, bran also have gluten. In certain doses, it is found in beer drinks, kvass, wheat vodka, and malt extract. Coffee and cocoa also have this protein.
The presence of gluten is characteristic of gastronomic products: meatballs, meatballs, sausages, crab sticks, chips, mayonnaises, sauces and dressings. Bouillon cubes, powders, prepared soups and cereals, soy products contain protein.
You need to know: food additives E150 E160 E411 E637 E636 E953 E965 indicates the presence of gluten in the product. Its presence is revealed in products with dyes and flavors.
Where else is gluten contained? It is part of the components of many medications - valerian tablets, Komplevita, tabletted Metronidozole, Diclofenac, Fenistil, Paracetomol, etc. Particular attention should be paid to drugs for children (vitamins, tablets). When choosing medicines, gluten-dependent people are required to consult a doctor.
What foods are gluten free?
Gluten free is found in the following foods.
- Rice, buckwheat, corn, millet cereals, products from sago, sorghum, amaranth, quinoa are excluded.
- Vegetables and fruits are free from protein, it is not found in potatoes and sweet potatoes, legumes.
- The use of meat, fish, eggs in food is safe for gluten intolerance.
- In milk, natural sour-milk products, butter and vegetable oil, powdered gluten is absent.
The use of hard cheeses is harmless. But you should pay attention to the inscriptions on the packages so as not to be mistaken with the choice of products.
Rice with celiac disease
Rice is a great product for people with gluten intolerance. Up to 70% of its constituents are complex carbohydrates that contribute to fast saturation and a long feeling of satiety. It contains up to 8% of vegetable protein, which allows vegetarians to do without meat. The presence of fiber in a small amount is useful for the good work of the stomach and intestines, because it envelops the mucous membranes and provides them with protection against irritants.
Vitamin B in the composition of rice contributes to the proper functioning of the central nervous system, and lecithin in large quantities has a beneficial effect on intellectual activity. Most importantly, gluten in rice is absent even in small doses. This makes croup useful for people with celiac disease.
Gluten Free: Production
Analytical data show that gluten production and sales are growing (up to 4% by 2016). Gluten is extracted from wheat flour using an aqueous medium and decanting centrifuges that separate gluten from other components. Then gluten is dried, during which its chains are broken by disintegrators. The circulation dryer at gentle temperature conditions contributes to the preservation of the protein structure.
Gluten is used for the production of flour as a component that determines the characteristics of the dough: its elasticity and firmness depend on the quality of gluten. Low-protein cereals produce weak flour. Adding gluten to it is economical and beneficial for producers: the cost of such products with good commercial qualities is much lower than the costs of making strong wheat flour.
The use of “gluten” flour is important for the production of bakery and confectionery products from it. With the presence of protein, the water absorption capacity of the test increases, the shelf life of the finished product increases, and the physical properties of the test are strengthened. In addition, the products are less crumbling, and the percentage of finished products grows to 7 units.
In the manufacture of pasta, protein is needed as a plasticizer and a binder, which is important when molding dough and cooking finished products. In cooked breakfasts with wheat, oat bran, gluten is also present as an enriching component. The meat processing industry uses it as a functional component that helps to improve the structure of products, increase the density and elasticity of products.
Due to the viscoelastic properties of gluten, it is used for the production of cheese and meat, crab analogues, artificial caviar.
Gluten Free Flour
The industrial production of gluten-free flour does not mean that gluten-addicted people will never have to eat bread, bakery products. Salvation will be gluten-free flour. Its variety will allow you to make a wonderful gluten-free menu. For nutrition without gluten, buckwheat, rice, corn, and pea flour is recommended. It is useful to use flour dishes from flax, amaranth, almonds, potatoes, bird cherry, tapioca.
Instead of gluten, corn and potato starch are used for the viscosity of the dough. Without harming your health, you can bake pies, make pancakes and enjoy cheesecakes. In addition, ready-made flour mixtures for all types of dough (shortbread, puff, etc.) for making pancakes, cookies, bread are sold in stores.
Gluten free food
The essence of such a diet is that the use of gluten-free foods cannot harm health, and for people with celiac disease it is a vital necessity. For gluten-free nutrition, the main rule is the exclusion of wheat, rye, barley, oats from the diet, as well as all products derived from them (cereals, bakery, confectionery).
It should be remembered: in cheap sausages, sausages, frozen meat and fish semi-finished products, many sauces, there is a high probability of adding gluten powder.
Useful buckwheat, millet, corn grits. Such a grain crop, as amaranth, was used by the ancient Incas and Aztecs, in Russia was revered by wise elders. The inclusion of legumes, fresh vegetables and fruits in the diet will enrich the diet and make it useful.
Gluten-free nutrition does not limit the consumption of meat, fish, dairy dishes and eggs. Some strong drinks are not prohibited: wine, tequila, rum, some varieties of whiskey. Recently, production of gluten-free beer has been launched.
Gluten harm is obvious to people who are prone to allergies to this protein. However, nutrition without eating does not affect the quality of food and its diversity. In addition, a number of gluten-free product manufacturers today offer a fairly large assortment of products that do not contain harmful protein.