What is Gluten vs Gluten Free

Hello there!

Welcome to my blog where I hope to enlighten you with knowledge I wish I had years ago. It has been a long road to where I am today (diet and lifestyle wise). I hope that this helps people out there that wish to learn more on gluten vs gluten free means.

At times this journey starts not knowing even the basics. Wanting to know means we want to grow and learn more.

Always remember that knowledge is power!

What does gluten mean

Gluten consists of proteins found in the seeds of wheat, rye and barley. It holds the shape of these grains together and makes baked goods fluffy and chewy.

Commonly found in breads, cereals, baked goods, pasta, beer, malt and brewer’s yeast.

Although there is not sufficient evidence against or in favor of gluten damaging the people without gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. It has been proven in numerous studies that gluten causes damage to people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity by triggering an immune response which causes damage to the gut lining.

This causes large proteins and bacteria to infiltrate into the bloodstream. Depriving the body of proper nutrition absorption and causing inflammation throughout the body and brain.

Inflammation can then lead to illnesses such as arthritis, diabetes, asthma, anxiety, and mental decline. For those who suffer celiac disease gluten creates damage to the small intestine which, left untreated can lead to anemia, osteoporosis, migraines, heart disease, and intestinal cancers.

Symptoms of celiac disease or gluten sensitivity are similar to those of irritable bowl syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcer or being lactose intolerant, check with your doctor if you suspect you may have any of these. Below are some of the symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Growth delay (Children)
  • Itchy rash
  • Poor appetite
  • Vomiting

What is gluten free all about

Due to all the evidence that has come to light regarding the effects of gluten, in those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity and their health.

Logic tends to guide us to believe that our health might be better if we too avoid gluten. I am not here to tell you what to believe, only to help find options if this is the path you have chosen.

Gluten free foods are all around us in our everyday foods. Naturally gluten-free groups include vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, nuts, dairy, meat and poultry.

Barley and wheat grasses are gluten free if they are not contaminated by their seeds. Gluten free means avoiding foods that have the seeds of barley, wheat, rye, spelt, and triticale.

Being gluten free has become a very common lifestyle and we can find whole sections of products in grocery stores.

Most products let us know if they are gluten free, and the options for a gluten less lifestyle grow everyday.

Which flours contain gluten

The levels of gluten vary, depending on what they are intended to be used for. Flours can be created from soft wheat or hard wheat/ spring wheat or winter wheat depending on purpose of the flour and how much is needed.

The softer the wheat the less the protein the flour will have, this is important for determining the product it will be used for. For higher density products the higher the need for gluten protein to create a stickier

The most popular known flour containing gluten is the common All-purpose flour that you can find in any store. This flour is best used in making pie crusts, pastries, cookies, pizza, as well as for thickening gravies and sauces.

During flour production, the wheat bran is removed and there is a loss of nutrients. Therefore, this flour usually needs to be enriched with minerals and vitamins. It has an average amount of gluten ranging from 8-11%.

Cake flour has the lowest amount of gluten, usually ranging between 7-9%. This flour is light and fine with a fluffy texture made for pasta, cakes, cupcakes, muffins.

Due to the finer milling process it has less protein than the other flour making it less sticky, thick to create a lighter, airy product.

Bread flour is made from hard wheat and has the highest percentage of gluten compared to other gluten based flours, ranging from 12-14%.

Higher gluten amounts means a higher protein content which is perfect for the products to keep their shape resulting in chewy bread with crispy crust.

Gluten free flour products

The demand for gluten free flour products has grown over the years and we now see a GF sign or some type of logo on packaging letting us know if a product is gluten free. There is many grains and starches that are naturally gluten free.

As the owner of Gluten-Less Flour I am promoting flour and products that I myself believe in. I believe them to be of good quality and would like to share them. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases,  but rest assured that it will by no means change the price of the product. Full Disclosure 

Links to  popular flours found in Amazon:

Larger grocery stores have a variety of gluten-free flours and flour blends depending on what your needs are. If you are adventurous with your cooking you can experiment with different types of flours to see what works for you.

Due to gluten proteins not being present other ingredients need to fill in the voids. You can create different blends, use thickening agents such as hydro colloids and gums, sourdough, fats, oils and starches.

Depending on what you need there are always options whether pre-made, individual ingredients or already packaged blends for breads, pancakes, or cookies. If you imagine it, it most likely already out there ready for you to bring home.

Mixing and matching

Hopefully this has helped expand your knowledge and you now understand the difference between what is gluten vs gluten free.

If you are still indecisive about taking a big jump into the unknown you can start small and experiment with different flavors and textures.

Remember that in order to succeed you need to try things a number of times before writing them off. They are usually more expensive then regular wheat bread: Below are some gluten-free products you might like:

You can start off trying a store bought bread and do not enjoy it,  give a different brand a shot before assuming they are all the same.

Here are some options:

Honey White, Gluten-Free (Frozen) Amazon

 

 

Gluten-Free Pita Bread Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten-free Spinach Tortilla Wrap Amazon
Gluten-Free puff pastry Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If one flour did not cut it, try mixing it with another or try a completely different one, you might find one that changes your perspective and your life.

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