Hannah Kaye, a nutritional therapist, debunks some myths about gluten with these facts.
- Wheat, rye, oats and barley consist mainly of gluten. Ice-cream cones and syrup, malt extracts and flavourings, mincemeat, mustard powder, pasta, baked beans and many more foods contain it.
- It’s a protein. And the immune system reacts to proteins. If it ‘reads’ gluten as a toxin, it launches an attack.
- It can cause inflammation in the body and can precipitate ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome’ – a debilitating condition with varied symptoms that happens when the small intestine becomes too permeable.
- Being allergic and being sensitive to gluten are two different things. If you’re allergic, you have a disease known as ‘Coeliac’ that can be life-threatening, whereas gluten-sensitivity isn’t a disease.
- Over 75% of gluten-sensitive patients don’t suffer from digestive problems but it can cause many other health problems. If you’re sensitive to gluten you may often feel fatigued and have food cravings. Gluten sensitivity can also affect your skin, hormones, respiratory and neurological systems and cause mood swings and irritability.
- Gluten sensitivity is often misdiagnosed as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
- A gluten-free item will always be wheat-free whereas a wheat-free item is not necessarily gluten-free.
Tip: Gluten often hides in processed foods. When you cut these foods from your diet, you’ll cut out primarily refined carbohydrates which are linked to weight gain. – Nutritionist, Hannah Kaye (www.hannahkaye.com).