“Does this contain gluten?”, even people who have no problems with it are asking themselves this question more and more often. Many consumers swear by a low gluten or gluten-free diet. But is this renunciation healthy at all?

In this article, we will first give you an overview of what gluten actually is and what advantages a low gluten diet can offer. We will also introduce you to gluten-free foods for your meals. And last but not least, you’ll find out what a delicious gluten-free breakfast can look like.

What is gluten?

Before we look at the question of whether it is healthy to avoid gluten, we first need to clarify what gluten is all about.

In simple terms, gluten consists of various proteins that are contained in the seeds of certain types of cereals. Perhaps you have also heard the term gluten or gluten protein. This goes back to the properties of gluten: mixed with water, gluten binds wheat flour into a homogeneous dough.

This effect is used by the food industry, which is why you can find gluten as a thickener in many ready-made meals.

Normales Brot und Gebäck enthalten Gluten!
Normal bread and pastries contain gluten!

Intolerance vs. coeliac disease – the difference

Even though gluten is present in many products and also certain staple foods, not all people can enjoy it. The diseases in which gluten triggers symptoms are listed under the collective term “gluten intolerance”.

For example, an intake of gluten in coeliac disease sufferers leads to damage of the intestinal mucosa. These inflammations in the small intestine ensure that nutrients are not absorbed properly. In addition, those affected report sometimes severe symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, flatulence, etc.

The difference between coeliac disease and a “normal” gluten intolerance is that the former is an autoimmune disease and the latter can be counted among the allergies. In this case, antibodies are formed after ingestion because the proteins contained are seen as a danger by the body. The symptoms are also generally milder.

There is also the so-called gluten sensitivity, in which those affected report intestinal complaints after eating foods containing gluten. However, this is not an autoimmune disease or allergy. An increased frequency for this type of intolerance can be observed in patents suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.

A somewhat different form of intolerance is wheat allergy. In this case, symptoms such as respiratory and skin complaints already occur on external contact. However, allergy to wheat rarely occurs in adults and tends to affect children.

The advantages of a gluten-free diet

Apart from the fact that many people are not allowed to eat products containing gluten because of intolerances or allergies, many people voluntarily give up gluten. That certainly has numerous advantages, doesn’t it?

Ein herkömmliches Feld mit kultiviertem Weizen
A conventional wheat field

One reason may be modern wheat. Over the last centuries, wheat has been “up-bred”, i.e. the original plant has been increased in the number of chromosomes (structures in the cell that consist of our DNA and various proteins) through selection and cross-breeding. The reason is that the modified wheat has a higher resistance to environmental conditions or pests and a higher yield. However, the immune system can also react sensitively to the large number of proteins, as the structure differs greatly from the original grain.

Are there disadvantages?

As with any unbalanced diet, malnutrition can occur. Substitute products often have less fibre and are higher in fat and calories.

This also invalidates the argument that a gluten-free diet is suitable for losing weight. If you compare normal products with the gluten-free alternative, the latter often contain more.

It is important to mention here that we do not want to make a recommendation for or against the consumption of gluten. If you feel that a gluten-free diet is good for you, it is advisable to consult your doctor.

These are the products you should avoid

Now that you know so much about gluten and the reasons for avoiding it, we would like to present the foods you should avoid or are allowed to eat.

Basically, gluten is found in grains, especially wheat, spelt, barley, rye, bulgur and couscous. This applies to all possible forms such as flour, flakes, semolina or bran.

Cereals or cereal-like products such as amaranth, buckwheat, maize, rice, millet or quinoa can be safely eaten.

Diese Produkte sind alle glutenfrei: Reis, Mais, Brot aus glutunfreiem Mehl und vieles mehr!
These products are all gluten-free: rice, corn, bread made from gluten-free flour and much more!

Care should also be taken with foods where wheat products are processed, such as breaded products. Even if foods do not contain gluten, cross-contamination with gluten-containing ingredients can occur during production. Therefore, if you want to be absolutely sure, look for the “gluten-free” label.

As mentioned briefly above, gluten-containing products may be used as thickeners in the production of food. However, gluten should not be confused with glutamate, also known as E 620 to E 625. However, these are flavour enhancers that are often used in Asian cuisine in particular. They consist only of individual amino acids and not – as with gluten – a complete protein.

Are oat flakes gluten-free?

You may be asking yourself at this point whether oat flakes contain gluten. Basically, the flakes contain very little to no amount of the substance. However, gluten contamination often occurs during the production process, which is why the flakes cannot be called gluten-free.

Did you know that a large amount of criteria must be met for gluten-free oat flakes to be labeled “gluten-free”? For example, the processing machines must be thoroughly cleaned to comply with the regulations.

What Verival does for you

We at Verival are of course also aware that more and more people have to abstain from gluten or do so voluntarily. That’s why we have our own “gluten-free” category, which you can use to conveniently view our complete gluten-free range.

So erkennst du glutenfreie Produkte
How to recognise gluten-free products at Verival

For those who simply don’t tolerate gluten so well, we can recommend trying our products with ancient grains. For these muesli variations, old varieties were recultivated and produced in our own contract farming. Because these old varieties are very natural and not “highly cultivated”, they are easier to digest and better tolerated.

Our gluten-free breakfast idea

Do you feel like making your own gluten-free breakfast? Then try out our simple gluten-free recipe right away. The Overnight Oats can be prepared the night before and are therefore an ideal meal prep.

Glutenfreie Overnight Oats mit Beeren Rezept
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Gluten-free Overnight Oats with berries

Prep Time5 mins
Let steep in the fridge2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 1

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Put the gluten-free Verival Strawberry-Chia Porridge in a jar of your choice.
  • Then add about twice the amount of liquid and mix well. If you like, you can also add a teaspoon of agave syrup.
  • Then put the gluten-free Overnight Oats in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • After the Overnight Oats have been allowed to swell in the fridge, you can refine them with toppings of your choice. Especially fresh or frozen berries go very well with this recipe.

Katharina

Alles rund um's Frühstück und Ernährung möchte ich euch mit gut recherchierten und verständlichen Beiträgen näherbringen. In meiner Freizeit findest du mich deshalb auch oft in der Küche, wo ich mich an neuen Gerichten versuche.