When I tell people i’m on a Gluten-Free, Vegan Diet (It’s easier than explaining to them about FODMAPs in a small time-frame without them losing interest) the one question I get the most is “What is Gluten?”. So I decided that it would be a good idea to dedicate a post to this – in hope’s of answering your questions, and also educating myself a little more.
Gluten, as posted on wikipedia is a protein composite which is found in foods processed primarily from wheat, rye and barley. Gluten is the substance which gives dough it’s elastic texture, helps it hold its shape, helps it rise and often results in a chewy texture in the final product.
Usual products containing gluten include (but obviously are not limited to, and if you are looking to go gluten-free my best suggestion to you is reading labels – you’ll be surprised at what really does contain gluten and what doesn’t. When an item is specifically labelled gluten-free then you can trust it – if not – always read!) bread, cakes, crackers, cookies, cereals, pizza (the crusts) and pasta. Other products you may not be aware of which usually contain gluten include (but again, not limited to): soy sauce, beer, salad dressings, malt vinegar and cous cous.
So why Gluten-Free?
For people on a low FODMAP diet it is important to eliminate gluten because by eliminating gluten, you automatically eliminate wheat products containing fructans. Yes. Wheat contains fructans – this is bad on a low FODMAP diet.
Well there we have it. What is gluten – in a nutshell. I hope I have helped. Do let me know if you have any questions about anything – I’m happy to help with what I do know, and if I don’t know – i’ll surely do my research!