More and more often you can find products labeled GLUTEN FREE and "Attention! Contains gluten" on the shelves in shops, cafes and restaurants. What is this new enemy of the human body - gluten?
The Americans were the first to notice the gluten threat, but today it is popular all over the world. In 2010, 10% of new products on the US market were labeled "gluten free" (up from just 2% in 2005), and sales of gluten-free foods increased 30%. Interestingly, many people find gluten-free foods to be healthier and even more conducive to weight loss. Let's figure it out - why is the lack of gluten in food useful or harmful?
Gluten, or in common people, gluten is a complex protein that is part of the grain of many cereals (wheat, rye, oats and barley). It can be found almost everywhere - in baked goods, pasta, candy, ketchup, sausages, yogurt, beer and even cosmetics! This ubiquity of its use is associated with its property of making the mass more elastic.
However, these days, more and more people are allergic to gluten. The disease is genetic and is called celiac disease. When gluten enters the body of a person with such a genetic predisposition, a violent inflammatory reaction develops. As consequences - chronic diarrhea, underweight, diabetes mellitus, anemia, depression. The fact is that the immune system recognizes gluten as foreign and attacks it with all available means. The food tract, brain, heart, joints and other organs are affected. According to statistics, celiac disease as a diagnosis was made by almost 1% of the population, however, one or another immune response to gluten is already observed in every third person.
Interestingly, over the past 200 years, the incidence of celiac disease in the world's population has increased by 400%, which is why this problem is quite acute today. First, the wheat that we eat is different from the one that our great-grandfathers ate. Second, culinary and manufacturing experimentation has now led to per capita consumption of gluten in developed countries several times higher than a century ago.
It is important to understand that products labeled gluten free belong to the category - medicinal. Losing weight can be tricky because most gluten-free foods contain significantly more calories and saturated fat than their regular counterparts. To make, for example, buckwheat cookies look like wheat cookies, manufacturers add a large amount of sugar to them.