Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wheat Free Vs. Gluten Free

Nick came home super early from poker last night (he lost, big time) and therefore I was unable to watch the Biggest Loser. Stay tuned for a full review soon, but if you want one now, check out Angie's Blog, she is an RD and did a review very similar to mine.

Wheat Free Vs. Gluten free

I get this question a lot; "What's the difference between gluten free and wheat free?"

Here is the definition of gluten, from Wikepedia:
Gluten
is a composite of the proteins gliadin and glutenin. These exist, conjoined with starch, in the endosperms of some grass-related grains, notably wheat, rye, and barley. Gliadin and glutenin comprise about 80% of the protein contained in wheat seed. Being insoluble in water, they can be purified by washing away the associated starch.

If a food is "gluten free", it doesn't contain wheat, barley, or rye (and sometimes oats) but if a food is "wheat free" it could still contain gluten from of rye, oats, or barley. People with Celiac Disease stay away from wheat because it contains gluten, which is a protein. I need to stay away from wheat because of its high fructose content. Fructose is not a protein, it's a monosaccharide (sugar). I have no problems with gluten (well, I still need to be tested) therefore I can consume barley, oats, and rye. When I consume foods that are high in fructose, it will bypass my small intestine and get fermented by bacteria in my large intestine. This fermentation causes gas and bloating (no fun).

Lesson in molecular biology:
Sugar, or sucrose, is a disaccharide that is 50% fructose and 50% glucose. I can eat sucrose because the equal amount of glucose aids in the absorption of the equal amount of fructose. When one molecule of glucose gets absorbed, it can take along with it one molecule of fructose. Therefore there is no problem. High-fructose corn syrup (which I normally don't try to avoid, as it's not any worse for you than regular sugar. Everything in moderation, right?!) has a bit more fructose (~55%), therefore I will malabsorb it because of the lack of enough glucose to help absorb the extra fructose (~45% glucose).

Celiac disease is actually an auto-immune disease, unlike fructose intolerance. When someone with Celiac disease consumes gluten their body will react by increasing the inflammation in their small intestine (as a way to "fight the offender"). The villi in the small intestine, which normally aid in the absorption of nutrients, will shorten or flatten, thus will be unable to aid in the absorption of nutrients. Learn more about Celiac Disease here.

Another reader showed me this website, with fructose-friendly recipes. I will be using this site in the future. Check it out if you're interested.

Coming Up
Tomorrow I will post my Biggest Loser Review, then on Friday my friend from high school (who currently lives in New York City) will be posting her recipe for tempeh meatloaf!

Our business has a great blog on which I recently started posting. Click here to view the post about the "fiber" found in your yogurt and sweeteners. Click here for my most recent post about sugar, and the latest recommendations.

Thanks for reading, and have a great evening/day!

35 comments :

  1. great post it can be a confusing issue for folks

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  2. I have been eating that brown rice bread and millet bread that is sweetened with fruit juice...I really love it..it is so darn expensive.

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  3. Thaks for clearing that up for everyone. It is confusing! I even get confused sometimes... especially with the fructose.

    That's my favorite Nature's Path Cereal! I could eat it all day!

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  4. Thanks for clearing that up because I was definitely someone who was wondering about this. Sometimes I think one of the most frustrating things about these stomach issues is that things that sound (or are) healthy for everyone else "fruit juice sweetened" is actually much worse for us. For example, whole wheat bread is much harder for me to digest than white so while restaurants etc think they are being healthy by putting everything on wheat bread, my stomach is less than pleased haha.

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  5. Oh my gosh. Your every day eating sounds like quite a task. Do any of the Ezekiel products lack fructose? I guess you're gonna have to get into your own bread making or something.

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  6. Ok so you just answered a question that has been on my mind FOREVER. What is gluten free?! It has got to be frustrating sometimes to figure out what you can and can't it...

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  7. damn sneaky food companies!! look at you doing your research. you're like the sherlock holmes of the blogosphere i love it

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  8. I love this post!


    I can only imagine how hard it is for you. We need to find you some new products :)

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  9. Thanks for on the info.! I'm in a nutrition class right now, but I feel like it's not nearly as helpful. And that's a shame about the Ezekiel and heritage cereal...they are two of my favorites. But I have had some pretty good wheat free bread before.

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  10. This is such a great post! esp for us pcos girls =)

    BTW Thanks for always looking out for me!

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  11. thanks for this info girl!!
    i LOVED reading it.
    your tips and recipes are amazing!

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  12. Another great informative post. I don't know if I have any issues in the digestive department, but the last few days before today I felt super sick after eating hershey's fun size nuggets and/or salted almonds. Strange, right?

    Do you think it could possibly be the sodium?

    Have a great week!

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  13. Have you tried adding glucose powder to high fructose foods to even out the ratio?
    I tried, but of course the glucose was corn derived and i reacted even WORSE. bugger!!
    I *think* (if i remember correctly- questionable?) maple syrup is ok as well..
    I'm yet to try the 'pure' stevia leaf herb. I can get organic ground pure stevia herb from my local organic shop, apparently it contains no sugar?
    Natalia

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  14. I never knew the difference, thanks for clarifying it! ;)
    soooo many good and expensive breads all to the human garbage? oh well... at least it's not complete waste!

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  15. I never knew the difference, thanks for clarifying it! ;)
    soooo many good and expensive breads all to the human garbage? oh well... at least it's not complete waste!

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  16. I can;t beleive all those products have hidden ingredients that you would not think it contained. That sucks, but good thing you noticed this. Thanks for the science review...you know much I love science. Oh and I totally walked out of class last night without reading the darn oreo label so I weill check tonight if the package is there. I am curious now.

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  17. That millet rice is what I eat.. I am fortunate enough to not have a fructose problem, though!!


    I can imagine that this is hard for you, good thing you are educated and highly knowledgeable. I always think about people in third world countries etc who simply dont have the means to eliminate certain foods. In a way, we are lucky. (I still feel for you though!!!!)

    Happy Thursday, Gina!!! ;)

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  18. oh no! I can't believe you can't have all those fodds - good thing they're not going to waste! :)

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  19. Great review of gluten! LOL at "your human garbage disposal"... I have one of those too and his name is Cory! Have a great day Gina :)

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  20. Great info!
    That has got to be really difficult have to avoid fructose. I would die without fruit!

    I'm sure the benefits of feeling better outweigh the foods you have to avoid.

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  21. Thanks for explaining this! It is so confusing! How frustrating always finding some ingredient you can't have in these foods!

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  22. Any idea what could cause bloating after eating whole wheat pasta? I thought gluten maybe but I get cramps and get constipated never diarrhea. Sorry lots of info. :)

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  23. Ugh so annoying that you couldn't eat that fancy bread! At least Nick would though...I don't think Mitch would touch anything other than his beloved Orowheat whole wheat bread, even if it meant we had to throw something out. Thanks for posting this info, I always learn something new when I read your blog girlie!

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  24. Gah....and the search continues. So sorry, Gina! I hope you find some tasty products that agree with you.
    Good things about those bread is that they freeze well!

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  25. Hi,
    My google alert picked up your post. The Corn Refiners Assoc, CRA, would like you to believe that HFCS-55 is "essentially similar" to the 50:50 ratio in sucrose, but you need to do the math.
    HFCS-55 is 55%fructose:45% glucose.
    55%:45% = 55/45= 1.22.
    THis means in every can of American
    Coke there is, compared to glucose,
    22% more fructose. What does this mean in everyday terms? Drinking 5Cokes sweetened with HFCS-55 is equivalent to drinking 4 1/4 SUCROSE Cokes + 3/4 can of pure FRUCTOSE sweetened beverage. Considering that the average teen chugs a couple of cans of soda per day, that is a lot of extra fructose assaulting the liver.
    Some food products use a different
    HFCS formula, but all national brands of soda, most sport quenchers, flavored teas, and fruit drinks containt HFCS-55.

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  26. Gina, so with the picture on my blog, we know what they are really trying to say, but if you read it together as one statement it reads like a newpaper headline, sorta like: EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT ATM INSIDE SPICY CHICKEN SANDWICH. Very catchy when you read it that way. Oh, I must rest now before I teach tonight.

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  27. What a bummer! I see so many Gluten Free foods at WF but the honey and fruit juice sure does complicate the issue :(

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  28. It's so hard isn't it?! Ugh! Trial and error is the only way to go, and unfortunately, it often leads to some lost money.

    Thanks for all of the information. Another important distinction that is only now gaining credibility is celiac vs. gluten intolerance. I have gluten intolerance because it causes all sorts of tummy trouble. BUt my intestine isn't being harmed by it if I do ingest it. Celiac is the autoimmune disease, as you mentioned. I was advised to stay on a gluten free diet so that Celiac can't develop.

    So confusing

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  29. It's so hard isn't it?! Ugh! Trial and error is the only way to go, and unfortunately, it often leads to some lost money.

    Thanks for all of the information. Another important distinction that is only now gaining credibility is celiac vs. gluten intolerance. I have gluten intolerance because it causes all sorts of tummy trouble. BUt my intestine isn't being harmed by it if I do ingest it. Celiac is the autoimmune disease, as you mentioned. I was advised to stay on a gluten free diet so that Celiac can't develop.

    So confusing

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  30. It's so hard isn't it?! Ugh! Trial and error is the only way to go, and unfortunately, it often leads to some lost money.

    Thanks for all of the information. Another important distinction that is only now gaining credibility is celiac vs. gluten intolerance. I have gluten intolerance because it causes all sorts of tummy trouble. BUt my intestine isn't being harmed by it if I do ingest it. Celiac is the autoimmune disease, as you mentioned. I was advised to stay on a gluten free diet so that Celiac can't develop.

    So confusing

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  31. Gina, I can't thank you enough for this post!!! My mother's doctor diagnosed her with a wheat intolerance, but her doctor didn't tell her that gluten free products are also inherently wheat free, so she thought she could only eat foods that said "gluten free and wheat free" on the label... I'm forwarding your post to her immediately!! I know she'll be soooo excited - this will dramatically increase the breads, crackers, etc that she's able to eat!! Thank you, thank you!!

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  32. I want to try to make hot milk cake with coconut milk. :)

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