In recent years, gluten has been one of the objects of study for scientists. This has changed more and more with the gluten-free trend. This substance is present in several cereals. But what about its impact on health? Is this component harmful to the body?
What exactly is gluten?
Gluten is a substance composed of a mixture of proteins, including glutenins and prolamins. For certain cereal plants, these two types of proteins are indispensable during the reproduction phase. These elements also help to give elasticity to flour-based doughs. Gluten is present in several cereals, mainly barley, rye and wheat. It is also found in other foods derived from these cereals such as pasta, breads and cookies. In some foods such as pastries, vegetarian alternatives, processed meats, fresh creams and condiments, gluten is also used as a thickening, gelling or emulsifying additive. In 2012, nearly 40% of the food products studied by scientists contained gluten. After the bad rumours about gluten, the gluten-free fashion has become a real addict for many French people. But is this substance really harmful to human health? Let’s take a look at gluten health.
Is gluten dangerous to health?
Yes and no! In reality, gluten intolerance does not affect the majority of the population. This substance is toxic in only 0.5 to 1% of French people. Gluten intolerance is manifested by a disease called celiac disease. This pathology affects the immune system. It affects genetically predisposed individuals. Thus, people who are subject to this disease must eliminate this component from their diet. At an advanced stage, this pathology leads to an immune reaction. This leads to progressive destruction of the inner lining of the small intestine. If the disease worsens, it will have disastrous consequences such as diabetes, infertility and bowel cancer.
Gluten in the diet
In view of the above statistical data, the number of people affected by gluten intolerance is quite small. However, this does not mean that gluten is harmless to health. For those at risk, it should be banned from the plate. For those who tolerate it, it is still advisable not to abuse it. Nothing beats a healthy, balanced and varied diet. To stay healthy, avoid processed foods as much as possible. As the gluten-free trend is gaining momentum, there is now a long list of interesting preparations. In short, it’s up to you to see if gluten will always have a place on your plates! In any case, eating gluten-free is not always easy.