What is gluten and where is it found? Products containing gluten

What is gluten and where is it found? Products containing gluten

What is gluten and where is it found? Products containing gluten
What is gluten and where is it found? Products containing gluten

Because gluten is a component of wheat protein, it is found in all foods made with wheat. First of all, we are talking about pasta, bread, pancakes and pastries. Also, the list of gluten-free foods may include condensed milk, ice cream, vegetable purees and even various sauces.

In such foods, gluten is used as a thickener - thanks to its content in the composition a pleasant airy texture is achieved. As a reminder, gluten proteins have the unique ability to capture gases - which creates both benefits and harms.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a group of proteins found in starch in cereals. Keep in mind that the proteins from the gluten group are found exclusively in cereals - wheat, spelled, barley, rye and oats. Gluten is not found in meat, vegetables (including legumes) and fruits - just like mushrooms, nuts and fruits.

Up to 85% of the total protein content in wheat comes from gliadins, prolamins and glutelins - different types of gluten. In this case, celiac disease is an acute allergic reaction exclusively to the protein glalin. In other cereals (especially in spelled) is less - which means less harm to the body.

For the same reason, although oatmeal contains gluten, we are talking about avenins - a form of gluten proteins that are extremely poorly digested by the human stomach. Interestingly, the official answer to the question "is there gluten in oatmeal?" Yes. However, it is this gluten that cannot affect the body.

Lactose and casein

It is important to separate allergies to gluten, casein and lactose. Casein is a gluten-like protein found in dairy products that can irritate the gut. Lactose, on the other hand, is a milk sugar that requires a special enzyme to break down (not found in some people).

In other words, solid dairy products can contain gluten, lactose and casein at the same time. The list includes mainly yoghurt and processed cheese (for example, shredded or sliced). The list also includes ice cream - which also contains gluten in waffles.

What foods contain gluten?

Because wheat gluten is considered one of the most flexible nutrients, the complete list of foods that may contain gluten covers almost all industrially produced foods. It is gluten that forms the texture and prolongs the shelf life.

Under the names 'modified wheat starch', 'stabilizer' and 'hydrolysed protein', gluten can be found in foods that do not include wheat at all, such as sweet curds, baby fruit purees and chocolates.

In addition, gluten can get into dried fruits and nuts during processing and packaging. Just like with oats, oats are often ground on the same equipment as wheat.

//   Complete list of foods containing gluten:

  • cereals (wheat, barley, rye and oats)
  • cereals (pearl barley, bran, bread, pastries)
  • pasta (excluding maize)
  • breaded foods (bites, chicken wings)
  • cubes and mixtures of broth
  • most canned meat
  • ready-made vegetable soups
  • crackers and most types of chips
  • waffles and most pastries
  • some types of chocolate
  • most cereals
  • most condensed milk
  • thick sauces (ketchup, tomato paste, sometimes teriyaki sauce)
  • thick and sweet yogurts
  • some thick drinks (jelly)
  • some cottage cheese
  • some types of ice cream
  • some types of sausages
  • certain types of semi-finished meat products
  • gin, whiskey, beer
  • distilled vodka
  • some types of sports nutrition

In cosmetics

Among other things, wheat products are used in the cosmetics industry. Small amounts of gluten can be found in powders, mascaras, lipsticks, toothpastes, shampoos and shower gels.

Although it is safe for most people, it can be irritating if you are allergic to gluten.

The harm of gluten-free foods

Gluten-containing foods can harm the human body for several reasons. First, some people have a food allergy to glalin - in their case, the stomach is disturbed and the immune system is suppressed.

Second, gluten-rich foods often have a high glycemic index and can lead to weight gain. Third, the indirect harm of gluten is that it provokes fermentation and forms the habit of feeling full stomach after eating.

Why does the belly grow?

Gluten proteins in wheat can capture carbon dioxide. In combination with yeast fungi, they provide fermentation and increase the structure of the dough - which is why baking from wheat flour is obtained.

For the same reason, foods containing gluten (mainly bread and pasta) absorb moisture and increase their volume during digestion. Gradually develops the habit of feeling full from food in the form of bloated stomach.

Are good or bad foods gluten free?

Not all gluten-free foods are healthy. Gluten is not found in foods high in carbohydrates or fats - including caramel, soda and refined vegetable oils. Many products do not contain this substance, but they can not be called useful.

Complete elimination of gluten is recommended only if you have celiac disease. In other cases, the harm occurs only due to the high calorie content of wheat products, as well as due to the habit of overeating to the feeling of "full stomach". At the same time, the harm of gluten on the body of an ordinary person has not been confirmed by research¹.


Gluten is a group of proteins found in grain starch. This substance is found in large quantities in all products made from wheat. In addition, gluten is used in many ready-to-eat foods and even in cosmetics.

Scientific sources:

  1. Gluten - a scientifically based review of the benefits, dosage, side effects,  source
  2. Why oats are safe and healthy for patients with celiac disease,  source