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sarahbb

Gluten In Processing Foods

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I was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease back in May '07. I am always interested in why things are the way they are so I am asking:

Does anyone know how food is processed that makes the product need gluten?

Why is gluten in so many things? If anyone knows a web site that may be helpful in finding this out please let me know. I would like to do some research along these lines.

Thanks so much :rolleyes:

Sarah

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I was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease back in May '07. I am always interested in why things are the way they are so I am asking:

Does anyone know how food is processed that makes the product need gluten?

Why is gluten in so many things? If anyone knows a web site that may be helpful in finding this out please let me know. I would like to do some research along these lines.

Thanks so much :rolleyes:

Sarah

Sarah....it's not that gluten on it's own is added to processed foods.....gluten is the protein in wheat that gives it it's stretchy, pliable consistency. When you knead dough, you are developing the gluten and the more you knead, the more elastic the bread becomes.

The problem is that wheat is added to many processed foods because it's cheap and does thicken the consistency, as others have stated here. Food glue, I call it. And if the general American public didn't eat so badly, a diagnosis of celiac disease would not be so traumatic for some. Processed food is very bad for you and it's not just the wheat that's added. It's terribly high in sodium and has little nutritive value. Most of the good food that's healthy does not contain gluten but you have to like to cook and spend some prep time on your menu or you may be an unhappy Celiac. I eat just about everything that a gluten eater does because I have put some time and effort into the diet and have found ways to convert recipes so they are gluten-free. I also have found that no one needs gluten to eat well so I think the main reason companies do this is money.....as usual! Americans want cheap food so the only way to do that is use cheap ingredients.

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I've been pondering this for a while now: what about products that contain wheat/gluten where the obvious benefits of thickening or binding don't seem to apply - like some brands of canned/cartoned chicken broth, especially the low-fat varieties (and at least one brand specifies "wheat gluten")? I've noticed in several cases where a product has a "full-fat" and a "low-fat" version, the "full-fat" version may be gluten-free but the "low-fat" usually is not.

I've wondered whether the gluten content is included in the nutritional protein amount on the label. But isn't gluten virtually indigestible for *any* human (or dog or cat, for that matter)? What about vegetarians who eat seitan as a protein substitute? I'm beginning to think that everyone (not just us celiacs) is being misled about gluten as a nutrient. I don't propose banning gluten - there are far worse things in our processed food - but I can't help but wonder.

BTW, the statement about gluten being indigestible comes from Dr. Peter Green's book "Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic", and the part about dogs and cats from an article quoting a vet in the wake of the pet food debacle. I don't have precise citations at hand, and any misquoting or misunderstanding on my part about that is mine alone.

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