What is Gluten and Why Should I Care?

I assume that by now you’ve heard the term “gluten” at least once. Let’s take a closer look at what gluten is and why we should be concerned about it.

In Latin, gluten means “glue.” It is a component of wheat (including durum, semolina, and spelt), rye, barley, and related grain hybrids like triticale and kamut. Even oats – which do not inherently contain gluten – usually have it due to cross-contamination, since oats are processed using the same machinery as gluten-containing grains.

Gluten is what gives elasticity to dough, helping it to rise and to keep its shape, and often giving the final product a chewy texture. It is actually made up of many different proteins divided into two main groups: gliadins and glutenins.

Gluten is a real problem for many, as it is a major contributor to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, depression, and many other modern ills. Continue reading “What is Gluten and Why Should I Care?”

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