Does your stomach hurt every time you eat bread? Do you feel sluggish after you eat a gluten rich meal? Your body probably does not agree with gluten, same as 20-30% of the world.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a group of proteins found in the seed of many cereals such as wheat, barley, rye, some varieties of oats, as well as their hybrids and derivatives. The most common gluten proteins are glutenin and gliadin.
The grain of these cereals is not composed solely of gluten, there are other parts such as starch, germ or bran, which if extracted through a technological process and with exhaustive control could be used as ingredients in gluten-free foods.
Gluten is responsible for the elasticity of the flour dough and gives the consistency and fluffiness to breads and baked doughs. Mostly, gluten is appreciated in food due to its thickening power.
Some people are unable to digest gluten because their bodies detect protein fragments that are generated by the immune system as foreign or toxic and this triggers an adverse reaction. Gliadin however is the protein responsible for making your stomach hurt after you body a pizza.
How to transition to a gluten-free diet?
Given that wheat, rye, barley, and derived foods are so common in today's culture, eliminating them from your diet will likely change your overall dietary routine. However, being gluten-free does not mean your diet has to be boring or limiting, there are so many substitutes that are just as savory, unprocessed and, in most cases, with double the nutrients.
Many studies show the correlation between a gluten-free diet and a healthier lifestyle, and despite the fact that more research is needed, its benefits have been linked with improved health, weight loss, and increased energy. However, there are many gluten free products that are not nutritious and healthy and loaded with sugar, fat and additives.
Many gluten-free foods also happen to be natural, for instance:
Lean and unprocessed meats, fish, and poultry
Grains, starches, and flours that can be part of a gluten-free diet include the following:
Gluten-free flours (rice, chickpea, almond flours for instance)
Avoid all foods and drinks that contain the following:
Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
All recipes on this blog are gluten-free. I was diagnosed with Celiac disease at the age of 18 and had to adapt to this new lifestyle. However, throughout the years I focused on learning how to adapt my favorite recipes to healthier gluten-free versions and was then able to prove that there is a gluten-free alternative to most recipes without compromising their taste, texture, consistency etc.