Why is gluten so hard to eat?

July 12, 2021 2 min read

"We build on our Technical Director Imran’s explanation of what gluten is, and explain why it’s hard for some of us to eat.    

Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, rye and barley, plus their derivatives. It helps plant seeds grow into plants, and when mixed with water it forms a sticky, stretchy material that helps give bread and cakes their elasticity.
 

Why is gluten so hard to eat?

It’s important to remember that gluten has been part of people’s diets for thousands of years - it’s only hard for some people to digest. These people usually have either coeliac disease, or some form of gluten allergy or gluten intolerance, and it's important to know the difference.   With coeliac disease, the body's immune system mistakenly thinks gluten is an ‘invader’ when it reaches the digestive tract, and attacks it. This causes damage to the intestinal wall and makes it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients.   If your body can’t handle gluten but you don't have coeliac disease, it’s likely that you have an allergy or intolerance to the substance. These can cause nasty symptoms which affect the bowel, stomach, skin and respiratory system, to name a few.  

What should I do if I can’t eat gluten?

The obvious answer is to look into a gluten free diet! We know how scary that sounds - we’ve been there ourselves - but trust us, you can do it and it will help.   Start by reading up on your symptoms and seeing your doctor for a diagnosis.   When you’re ready to go gluten free, have a read up on tips and experiences from people who’ve done it themselves. Remember to always consult your GP before making major changes to your diet.   Next off, get baking! We may be biased, but we think gluten free baked delights taste even better than gluten-filled foods, especially in the knowledge that they’ll be yummy and safe for us to eat!   "


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