Everything you want to know
about gluten

In which foods we find gluten

Gluten is found in a wide range of foods - processed and unprocessed - such as: 

- Cereals: whole grain wheat, wheat bran, rye, barley, triticale (a combination of wheat and rye), dinkel, kamut, couscous, durum wheat, mono-/double-grain wheat, semolina, bulgur, farina, durum wheat, etc.

- Processed cereal products: bread, crackers, pasta, toast, biscuits, pastries, etc.

- Other foods and beverages: malt and malt vinegar, soy sauce, certain salad dressings, certain spice mixes, beer, certain wines

Should you avoid gluten?

Yes and no! In healthy individuals, gluten per se has neither a positive nor a negative effect. What you need to keep in mind is which gluten-containing food you have chosen to consume and whether or not it is ultimately beneficial for you.

Some of the gluten-containing products are healthy, nutritious and therefore essential as part of a balanced diet. For example, whole grain products have been linked within many studies to positive health effects. In fact, eating 2-3 servings of wholegrain products per day has been associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

Gluten also acts as a probiotic in the body, i.e. it feeds the 'good' bacteria in the gut. So a dysregulation of these bacteria can lead to gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome.

On the other hand, certain products containing gluten are detrimental to health. These include processed foods, which are associated with a wide range of diseases and at the same time have little nutritional value.

Gluten Intolerance & Symptoms

The main reason to avoid gluten and foods containing it, however, is established intolerance (celiac disease), gluten sensitivity or wheat allergy. However, the symptoms suggestive of any of these conditions vary from person to person. Some of them are:

- Gastrointestinal: diarrhoea, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, inflammation of the tissues of the digestive tract

- Dermatological: rashes, eczema, inflammation

- Neurological: mental confusion, fatigue, anxiety, sadness, lack of concentration

- Other: unexplained weight loss, nutrient deficiencies, weakened immune system, osteoporosis, headache


👍 Listen to your body. Notice if gluten consumption is negatively affecting you and causing any of the above symptoms. In that case, try removing it from your diet for a few weeks to see if the discomfort subsides.

👍 If you want to give up gluten for a while, you can safely consume foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, eggs, nuts, seeds and quinoa.

👍 Don't forget to check food labels to make sure they don't contain gluten.

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