If you believe only half of the media coverage, research reports and food labeling and packaging – gluten intolerance seems to have reached epidemic proportions over the past 20 years. Researchers now claim that as much as 40 percent of the U.S. population now suffers from it in one form or other causing food safety advocates to take a harder look at the role GMOs play in this this dramatic spike.
Gluten, (from Latin gluten – “glue”), is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye. Gluten gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and maintains its shape while often giving the final product a chewy texture. Gluten is also found in some cosmetics, hair products, and other dermatological preparations. One should always read product labels because you may be eliminating gluten from your diet while still being exposed or ingesting it through other products.
Food safety advocates and wheat farmers have recently turned their attention to Oregon, where Illegal genetically-engineered wheat has been discovered growing in an Eastern Oregon field. Genetically modified wheat hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and unlike corn and soy and other more established GMO foods, there actually isn’t supposed to be any genetically modified wheat in the U.S. food supply at all.
Removing all genetically modified and gluten foods from the individual’s diet should be a good first step in reversing gluten allergies and sensitivities. Wheat, rye and barley are the primary foods that contain gluten, but cross contamination during food processing is common with other grains like oats. Once an individual’s diet is purified, adding probiotics, healthy fats and a few specific supplements may help to rebuild and heal the digestive tract. I suggest you consult a qualified nutritionist for specifics on additional supplementation.
Gluten is a source of protein, both in foods prepared directly from sources containing it, and as an additive to foods that are otherwise low in protein – throughout the world, and, while you might consider that dairy items are gluten-free, they actually aren’t. Food manufacturers add gluten ingredients to thicken many products.
If you find that you are gluten intolerant you should always read product labels prior to purchase or consumption. But, you should also be aware that food manufacturers often change ingredients and you really can’t depend on a manufacturer’s website for accurate ingredients because you may actually be purchasing an older version from store’s shelves.
There are plenty of gluten-free products available to make your transition to a gluten-free diet much easier. To improve your health, there are many natural substitutes you can use. Experiment on your own to discover what fits your taste and dietary needs.