Are Gluten-Free Products Really Gluten-Free?
Which Cereal is Gluten-Free? Are Gluten-Free Products Really Gluten-Free?
By Andres "The Bronx Citizen"
It would be prudent for you to know not all products labeled "Gluten-Free" are really what they claim. You see them in your local markets. Most supermarkets have a dedicated aisle for Gluten-Free products. What is Gluten exactly? If you ask someone, "what is gluten?" most will answer "something that's in food." If you were taking a health food class and that question was on the exam, your instructor would have marked it incorrect. True, it's something in most foods but what exactly is it?
Gluten is a type of prolamin (or protein) found in certain grains particularly 4 grains (wheat, barley, rye and oats). Wheat contains the prolamin gliadin, barley contains the prolamin hordein, rye contains secalin and oats contain the prolamin avenin (which we get the Spanish word "Avena"). Collectively, these prolamins are known as Gluten.
According to many doctors including allopathic doctors, the gluten prolamins can damage the villi of the small intestines. The small intestines is part of the digestive system. The villi digest or process nutrients into amino acids so the body can properly absorb the processed nutrients.
Gluten obstructs this process by damaging the villi of the small intestines. The human body, therefore, becomes deficient in nutrients and illnesses begin to develop caused by deficiencies of specific nutrients. For example, if you're not processing and absorbing Vitamin C, chances are you will get the disease Scurvy, a deficiency of iron will cause anemia, a deficiency of Omega 3, 6, 9 and manganese will cause respiratory problems like asthma, COPD etc. A deficiency of vanadium and chromium will cause diabetes. There are over 900 diseases caused by a deficiency of specific nutrients.
CAN THE BODY FIX THE VILLI OF THE SMALL INTESTINES SO IT CAN PROCESS NUTRIENTS TO AVOID THE 900 DISEASES?
The good news is, the body has the ability to heal itself. So how do we allow the body to heal itself? The answer is simple if you read the previous paragraphs, AVOID THE GRAINS WHEAT, BARLEY, RYE, OATS and any food that causes inflammation. Please watch the video The 12 Deadly Foods. I believe, the majority of Americans have a gluten intolerance that is causing malabsorption and consequently are getting sick and their health is worsening by the day. If you have more than one disease, chances are you have a gluten intolerance and are not absorbing nutrients which why many are getting sick.
In my mid 20's, I began to get a distended stomach. Each year my stomach was growing larger and getting more distended. People were advising me to abstain from bread and pasta. Well, that was good advice because those foods contain wheat and wheat has the gluten prolamin gliadin. However, they forgot to advise me about Crackers, Cookies, Pastries, Cakes, Pancake Mixes, Cereal, Sauces in Cans and jars, Tortilla Wraps like Burritos, Bagels, Granola Bars, Protein Bars, Pop-Tarts, Pot Pies, TV Dinners etc. These foods contain wheat. The problem is, most people are not aware these foods contain gluten prolamins.
The ingredient label of these foods will not indicate the words "Contains Gluten" although I did see some products in fine print indicating the product contains gluten which is very seldom. You need to know the grains WHEAT, BARLEY, RYE & OATS are the grains that contain the gluten prolamins. You will notice in the ingredient label the words "Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (there goes word WHEAT), also "Rolled Oats" (there goes that word OATS), also the words "Malted Barley" (there goes that word BARLEY). If you see those words on the ingredient label (WHEAT, BARLEY, RYE OR OATS) put the product back on the shelf. I don't care if it states "Miracle Wheat, Organic Oats, Super Healthy Barley....PUT IT BACK ON THE SHELF.
WHAT ABOUT PRODUCTS THAT INDICATE "GLUTEN-FREE" ON THEIR LABELS? ARE THEY REALLY GLUTEN-FREE?
This one is kind of complex to explain. I will attempt to try. The fact is gluten-free products labeled as "gluten-free" are not so much gluten-free as we hoped. First, there is no such thing as gluten-free oats or gluten-free wheat etc. I don't care what anyone says, THERE IS NO SUCH THING. IT'S BOLONEY. If you can find gluten-free Egyptian wheat, give me a call. We will be billionaires.
In 2004 The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standardized the definition of "Gluten-Free." Any food products must be less than 20 parts per million (ppm) or 20 milligrams of gluten per kilogram of food. In other words "GLUTEN-FREE" is really not gluten-free. Why 20 PPMs and not 0 PPMs? Number 1, 20 ppm is the lowest level of gluten that can be consistently detected in foods using the FDA’s scientific analytical tools. Number 2, according to the FDA, most individuals with digestive disorders like celiac disease can tolerate trace amounts of gluten in food (up to 20 ppm) without signs of adverse health effects. and Number 3, certain facilities that produce gluten-free products also produce products that contain gluten. Some gluten-free products may contain gluten prolamins. This is known as cross-contamination. For this reason, many products will indicate on their label “This product was manufactured in a facility that produces products that contain wheat." However, all facilities must follow the standard 20 PPMs or less on gluten-free products. The question is "do these facilities have a quality assurance department checking the amount of gluten prolamins on their gluten-free products to ensure they are in compliance with the FDA?" Probably not.
SO, WHICH CEREAL BETWEEN CHEERIOS AND ANNIE'S HOMEGROWN IS REALLY GLUTEN-FREE?
You should know the answer now. Answer: Neither one is really gluten-free. However, I purchase Annie's Cinnabunnies over Cheerios. Cheerios contain oats. What did I just mention? THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GLUTEN-FREE WHEAT, BARLEY, RYE AND OATS. I would not consume Gluten-Free products every day. Take this into consideration. Let's say for breakfast you ate a bowl of gluten-free cereal. For lunch, a tuna fish sandwich on gluten-free white bread followed by a gluten-free apple pie. For dinner, you ate a plate of gluten-free pasta followed by gluten-free rice pudding for dessert. Chances are you consumed more than 20 milligrams of gluten prolamins. I would consume gluten-free food products very moderately.
Another reason why I would choose Annie's Cinnabunnies, Annie's cereal is made with Rice Flour, Brown Rice Flour and Tapioca flour that do not contain any gluten prolamins however, Annie's facility produces products that contain wheat. Plus it contains cinnamon which is an excellent spice that has a high ORAC value score (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). As a former cancer patient, I must keep my antioxidant very high within the range of 100K to 150K ORAC score on a daily basis.
Against The Grain, The Truth About Gluten and What it Does to Your Digestive System
Video By Dr. Peter Glidden, ND
Dr. Glidden discusses in this short webinar the damage gluten does to your intestines if you constantly consume it.
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