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Sensitivity to gluten: myth or reality?

Sensitivity to gluten, myth or reality?

Some do not hesitate to talk about a fashion effect while sales of gluten-free products jumped 42% in France in 2014 alone. Others blame the agri-food industry that would put too much gluten in food . Above all, testimonials are multiplying to find that people who adopt a gluten-free diet simply feel better.

What is it exactly?

Here are some answers. Do not confuse celiac disease and gluten sensitivity Celiac disease is indeed an autoimmune disease due to gluten that requires a strict diet. In this case we speak of gluten enteropathy, the main symptoms of which are intestinal disorders, cutaneous effects, migraines and great fatigue. People with celiac disease have abnormalities in their small intestines that prevent the transfer of nutrients to the blood. This pathology is diagnosed through a blood test (which reveals the presence of antibodies), followed by an exploratory examination and a biopsy. Celiac disease affects less than 2% of the population. But today, more and more people who do not suffer from this disease say they feel better after banning gluten from their diet. They show various improvements in their daily life: disappearance of chronic fatigue, difficulties in getting up in the morning, headaches, mood disorders, stomach upset ... And this, even without biological markers, if n sometimes mild inflammations of the colon.

Gluten, the food industry and we Gluten is a set of insoluble proteins (glutenins and gliadins) found in cereals such as wheat, barley, oats and rye. Its viscoelastic properties give bread volume. They have also led agribusinesses to use it as a binder or thickener, in sauces, soups, sweets, etc. Sensitivity to gluten, although consumed since the dawn of time in the daily diet, for example bread, may surprise some. However, times have changed and one may wonder if gluten is not overused. In fact, from hybrid wheats to mechanical kneading, the gluten value of certain foods continues to grow: we are talking here about the baking value of flour. As the gluten level increases (if only to allow the bread to rise), the use of traditional sourdough, whose acidity helps to predigate gluten, decreases. And you should know that gluten is never completely digested, leaving in the intestine protein fragments.

Should we say goodbye to bread, pasta and other cakes?

Eating without gluten, instructions for use People who follow a gluten-free diet say they are better digested, feel healthier and lighter, and their inflammatory attacks decrease. Such a diet does not pose a risk to health, provided that it meets the need for protein, vitamins and fiber provided by the bread. To do this, cereals such as rice, quinoa and millet do not contain gluten. Beyond the reading of the labels, the gluten-free foods identify themselves thanks to a logo, an ear of wheat barred, set up by the AFDIAG, French Association of the intolerant to the gluten. This logo obeys the European regulation n ° 41/2009 and certifies that the gluten content is lower than 20 mg per kilo. Be careful, before starting a gluten-free diet, we recommend, if you have symptoms, to check the absence of celiac disease. A simple blood test is enough.