5 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Gluten

Being on a gluten-free diet seems to be the next big thing nowadays and there are no signs of the trend slowing down anytime soon. Whether you are avoiding gluten due to celiac disease, or because you feel you may be sensitive, here are five things, as featured on the Huffington Post, that you may not be aware of yet but should know.

Gluten may not be the only offender when it comes to celiac disease.

According to a recent study conducted by Columbia University, there are wheat proteins beside gluten that could possibly trigger problematic symptoms in people with celiac disease. “While gluten is the primary type of protein in wheat, a substantial number of study subjects with celiac disease had an immune reaction to five groups of non-gluten proteins”.

Gluten-free labels are now standardized.

It might surprise you find out the term “gluten-free” was only recently regulated and defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; last August to be exact. According to the ruling, the term “gluten-free” can only be used if the product contains less than 20 parts per million of gluten. So while gluten-free has now been defined, it’s important to note that a product marked “gluten-free” may not in fact be 100% gluten-free. Therefore, it is possible for someone with celiac disease to react to a gluten-free product; however, it is not the norm. If you are concerned though, “stick with unpackaged, whole food sources of starch that are naturally gluten-free, like fruit, potatoes, squash and root vegetables”.

Gluten-free fast food may not be safe for people with celiac.

While chains such as Pizza Hut and Domino’s are now offering gluten-free crust options, beware. The gluten-free pizzas are prepared in the same kitchen as those containing gluten and are, therefore, not considered “safe for everyone with celiac disease”, the article stresses. Additionally, this cross-contamination risk may be present at other food chains that offer gluten-free options, such as “Arby’s, Chik-fil-A and Wendy’s.

Gluten-free junk foods are everywhere.

Jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon has become such a trend that the the term “gluten-free” has become interchangeable with “healthy” to many. However, simply eliminating gluten from your diet is not an immediate one way ticket to reaching your dream weight. There are dozens of unhealthy gluten-free foods including “cookies, brownies, pizza, mac and cheese, ice cream sandwiches, chips and beer”. Of course some of these foods are a definite godsend for people with celiac disease because they now get to indulge in treats they have had to avoid at all costs, but they are in no way the foundation of a nutritious and healthy diet.

Food sensors are in the works.

TechCrunch reports that there are “portable sensor devices” in the works that will be able to determine risky ingredients in a food product; gluten detection will reportedly be a part of test. Depending on the accuracy, this device could be an essential game-changer. Details are still being ironed out so stay tuned.


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