What does gluten-free mean? In today’s world, it is one of the biggest topics when it comes to weight loss and dieting. Many people go on diets in an attempt to lose weight or improve their health, but they never really learn what does gluten free mean. Gluten free is not a complicated word, but it can be hard to understand. Here are some things you should know about gluten free.
First, what is gluten? Gluten is the protein compound found in wheat and similar grains like barley and rye. Gluten is sometimes included in foods as a stabilizing ingredient, but most often it is removed during the process of processing (such as when bread is baked). A gluten-free diet means a strict diet that strictly eliminates gluten from food, including cross-contamination from barley flour or rye crumbs.
Since gluten contains protein, it is commonly found in foods such as breads, cookies, cakes, and pastries. Common gluten containing ingredients include wheat flour, rice flour, corn flour, and tapioca starch. Anytime you encounter foods that say they are made with ‘gluten-free” or “grain free,” these are products that contain trace amounts of gluten.
What makes going gluten free so confusing is that gluten is commonly found in a variety of common foods, yet only a tiny amount is going to actually be consumed. If you are going to eat out at a restaurant, you may have to substitute baked goods for your pizzas and desserts. This means that if you use regular baking soda for your bread crumbs, you are still going to ingest gluten. You will have to make the decision of what you are going to allow in your body versus what you are going to exclude.
One common mistake that people make when they go on a gluten free diet is consuming too many tortillas. If you eat one carb or food item with breadcrumbs, it will still contain gluten. Many people unknowingly continue eating these foods after they have been told that gluten is present in the tortilla. If you have this problem, you need to make an informed decision before you eat.
Gluten free cookbooks like Paleo Cookbook provide tips for cooking with 20 parts per million of gluten. For example, the gluten content of pizza crusts is approximately 20 parts per million, so this means that you would need to consume more than one pizza slice to receive the gluten you are absorbing through the crust. Gluten free products also come with their own distinct gluten counts, so you should calculate the gluten content of your favorite recipes before purchasing them. These cookbooks provide easy to understand instructions for calculating the gluten content of your recipes, and even lists out what you can and cannot eat on the gluten-free diet.