The Muscle of Flour AKA Gluten


A couple of weeks ago, some friends and I tried to attend the Gluten Free Expo that was taking place in Vancouver. We thought this would be the perfect opportunity to learn about the up and coming ‘gluten-free’ products we could offer future clients. However, after waiting in line for an hour and a half, we were told we only had another hour and a half to go! So, we decided to get a refund and some brunch. According to the apology email, we were sent a couple of days later, over 20,000 people tried to attend this particular expo! What should we take away from this?

Well, thanks to ‘Wheat Belly’ I guess people really are thinking ‘gluten-free’ is the new Atkins diet. Or are more people actually becoming sensitive to gluten?

A ‘gluten-free’ diet is not the healthier choice, unless of course, you have celiac disease or a gluten allergy. Gluten is just a type of protein found in whole grains - it gives baked goods the ability to rise and a chewy (amazing) texture. Without gluten, baked goods may end up dry or crumbly.

Celiac disease is an inherited autoimmune disease with nearly 1% of the population suffering from it. I’ve attached some good references/resources for you if you want more information. On the other hand a wheat allergy causes a person’s immune system to react abnormally when exposed to gluten. Just like any allergy, some symptoms include: flushing, hives, itchy skin, swelling of the face, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and faintness. If you think you have celiac disease or a wheat allergy please make an appointment with your doctor or a dietitian.

Following a gluten-free diet without a legitimate reason eliminates healthy sources of fibre, B-vitamins, vitamin E and minerals. Enjoying more whole grains is a healthy choice, whether it is gluten-free or not.

Take home message – just because those cookies in the coffee shop are labeled ‘gluten-free’ does not mean you are allowed to eat 5 of them!!!

PS) I haven’t personally tried it but I hear Silver Hills makes the best gluten-free bread – just an FYI.