A lot of us are lucky enough not to experience the pressure of scrutinizing the details of what we eat. But for some, it can be a daunting process to have to know the components of every meal, before even tasting it.
Aside from the typical food allergens, there are also various substances that some of us need to keenly observe beforehand, lest we experience discomforts of having to deal with adverse reactions to the food that we eat. And one of those compounds is the hidden gluten component in various starches.
What is gluten?
We constantly see a lot of articles about gluten being published in social media, among other sources. However, some fail to address the basic question before giving it a bad rap. So first things first, what is gluten?
Gluten is basically a mixture of different types of protein activated by water that provides elasticity and form to the final product of almost all breads and pastries that we love. It is generally found in wheat, barley, rye, malt, triticale, and even brewer’s yeast.
Majority of the population do not experience adverse reaction when consuming gluten. Nevertheless, there are certain medical conditions that require avoidance of the said protein combination. This includes Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergy. Since a lot of our processed starch sources contain gluten, it is necessary that those people who have either of these medical concerns be well informed about the presence of gluten in products they wish include in their shopping list.
Being well informed about gluten
Wheat is one of the most consumed cereals around the world. It is therefore implied that wheat gluten is one of the items that should be watched-out if you belong to the population who needs avoid it. Aside from wheat products, it’s also important to recognize other sources of gluten as well to make sure that there are no stones left unturned.
Though avoiding sources with gluten can be excruciating to some extent, preparing a gluten-free food list is quite an easy job. Since gluten is found only in certain grains, other carbohydrates sources such fruits, vegetables, and root crops are already out of the equation. Of course, animal proteins and fats are not included in the list.
When preparing a list of gluten-free foods, particularly grains that can serve as perfect alternatives to those gluten-rich grains, remember to include these perfect substitutes which you can incorporate into your meals:
Based on the grains listed above, there are far more varieties of grains that do not have gluten than those that have it. Filipinos are primarily rice consumers, so it would not be difficult to stick to it during meal time. However, it is wise to consider the manufacturing process of these grains, as most like oats are harvested, packed and manufactured in the same facilities as wheat.
Other gluten-free products to consider
Luckily, people who need to avoid gluten no longer bound to perpetually avoid their go-to comfort foods. Certain methods of gluten extraction and purification paved way to innovative production of gluten-free bakery products which we can all definitely enjoy. Here in the Metro, online shop such as GERALD.ph offers a wide selection of gluten-free products from different kinds of pastries, pastas, and even ice cream, which would certainly make people with gluten concerns live like any other gluten tolerant individual.
Gluten-free lifestyle might be overwhelming to some of us. But with the right selection and now with wider varieties to choose from, developing a habit would be way easier than it was before.
- Lamacchia, Carmela, et al. “Cereal-Based Gluten-Free Food: How to Reconcile Nutritional and Technological Properties of Wheat Proteins with Safety for Celiac Disease Patients.” 6.2 (2014): n.pag. Web. 14 Oct. 2016.
- 4310830, 95 -. Sources of gluten – celiac disease foundation. Celiac Disease Foundation, 1998. Web. 14 Oct. 2016.
- Awika, Joseph M. “Major Cereal Grains Production and Use Around the World.” Advances in Cereal Science: Implications to Food Processing and Health Promotion. N.p.: American Chemical Society (ACS), Jan. 2011. 1–13. Web. http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/whats-whole-grain-refined-grain/gluten-free-whole-grains
- “INFOGRAPHIC: How much rice do Filipinos consume?” Rappler, 7 Oct. 2012. Web. 14 Oct. 2016.