Gluten intolerance due to more gluten in processed foods

Gluten intolerance, also called celiac disease, is becoming increasingly common and so more and more people have to adopt gluten-free diets. The rise of gluten intolerance is not unexpected. The food industry has discovered the benefit of gluten. With extra gluten, bakery products, cookies, cakes, but also other foods such as soups and so on, can be strengthened in a cheap way, meaning that fewer other, more expensive foods need to be processed. That means lower costs and higher profits. Gluten is a natural product and the government cannot stop manufacturers, but the effect of the excess of gluten is already noticeable in the Netherlands. More and more people are suffering from gluten intolerance. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

Various processed products are “enriched” with gluten

Ready-made meals, sauces, salad dressings, etc. in particular are often made with gluten to provide a certain consistency in the diet, without making the product more expensive. However, it ‘looks’ better if it appears to be a well-filled product.

A better price for the manufacturer

Gluten-enriched products are also heavier due to the thickening. More weight usually also means a better price for the manufacturer. People will no longer buy a thin, watery dressing, no matter how tasty it is. The same applies to chips. Chips are a potato product and do not actually require any additions of flour at all.

Gluten intolerance or “celiac disease” is now more common due to an excess of gluten

A manufacturer who properly assesses the consequences of an excess of gluten in its products will be less likely to use it, because the number of patients with celiac disease has been steadily increasing recently. A patient with gluten intolerance cannot tolerate the gluten contained in processed grain products made from wheat, rye, barley and oats. These patients also cannot tolerate bread made from grains such as dinkel and spelt.

The consequence for the intestines

The intestinal villi of these people can flatten by eating foods containing gluten, reducing the surface area of the small intestine. The inside of the intestine is shaped in such a way that it has a larger absorption surface for food. In this way, healthy people get as many nutrients as possible from what they eat each day.

Deficiency of vitamins and minerals

If that surface is flattened due to damage to the flour products, they can also absorb fewer nutrients into their body and the food leaves the body before it has extracted all the good nutrients. Over time, this manifests itself in a deficiency of vitamins, minerals, etc.

Hunger edema due to too much gluten in the diet

The result can be a kind of hunger edema and therefore a malnourished body. Especially in small children, the effect can often be recognized by a big belly and thin arms and legs. This is often visible when they have been eating bread, cookies and other foods containing gluten for six months. It is often noticeable in advance, because these children simply do not feel well and get a strange kind of diarrhea. Often it even looks gray. The annoying thing is that a gluten intolerance is often only noticeable once a child has eaten normal food containing gluten for about six months.

To a greater or lesser extent not resistant to gluten in the diet

Not every gluten intolerance is so easy to recognize. There are people who are less tolerant to gluten, but have never really had any problems with it. The intolerance is therefore not always equally strong. This is also seen with other intolerances and with real allergies.

Example

For example, those who are allergic to zinc can sometimes tolerate metal jewelry that contains very little zinc. However, others cannot tolerate the slightest trace of it and immediately develop the worst rash. The same applies to gluten intolerance.

Result of an excess of gluten in the diet

Anyone who has not had a problem with gluten until now may have one now that the industry is increasingly using a larger dose of gluten in its food products. This is the reason for the increasing number of patients with celiac disease (gluten intolerance) who have to follow a gluten-free diet. That’s not fun, because the diet is not easy. Most patients find gluten-free bread in particular unpalatable, unless it is baked from gluten-free wheat flour (wheat starch).

There is an increasing number of different gluten-free breads on the market

Yet it is not too bad, because nowadays more and more shops and supermarkets offer gluten-free bread and some of them are really good to use. The bread often tastes much better than the sparse, gluten-free bread types that were available a few years ago. So try out as many different gluten-free breads as possible in the beginning. There’s bound to be something you like.

Pay attention to all product information in the supermarkets

In addition, in every supermarket, one must pay attention to the ingredients of the food. Added flour can sometimes be found in the strangest places. Over time, one will know what can and cannot be used by the patient. It remains necessary to pay close attention, because a manufacturer can always adjust its product and more and more new products are coming onto the market.

Gluten-free products

Fortunately, there are more and more gluten-free products, but they are often extremely expensive. Take, for example, gluten-free lasagna sheets, gluten-free pasta, spaghetti, and so on. Food industries that start working on this make a lot of money and food manufacturers make profits in two places.

The manufacturer benefits

On the one hand, manufacturers are cheaper by incorporating more and more gluten into their diet, and on the other hand, they are making more and more money on gluten-free items, because there are more and more patients with celiac disease due to an excess of gluten in the diet.

Taking measures due to the increase in people with a gluten intolerance

It is a dubious cycle and only politicians can do something about it by drawing up clear rules and laws. Public health can only benefit from this. In any case, not having more gluten in the diet than necessary would put a stop to the increase in people with gluten intolerance. In the long term, that number could even decrease.

Manufacturers must also take responsibility

The manufacturers have also been asked to take responsibility. It is necessary that they have to calculate carefully and pay attention to the costs of their products. After all, profit must also be made, but that does not alter the fact that they also have responsibility for the health of the people their products are intended for.

Restaurants and hotels

Nowadays it is increasingly possible to eat gluten-free in restaurants and hotels. Nowadays, a gluten intolerance no longer has to be a limitation. Many restaurants have no problem making a meal for people on a diet.

Please call in advance if you have dietary requirements for a meal

Vegetarians, vegans and people with lactose sensitivity can also express their wishes in a restaurant, after which they are served a good meal. It is best to call in advance so that the restaurant or hotel can adjust accordingly.

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