Does corn contain gluten, is it in corn grits and flour, and why is it so dangerous?
Corn is a delicious treat, and in any form. Children love corn porridge, canned corn has long been an essential ingredient in many salads and other dishes, and corn flour adds an unusual flavor to baked goods. But what if you or your loved ones have gluten intolerance? After all, it is found in many cereals. Let's see if corn contains gluten and what it is.
The content of the article
What is gluten
Gluten is not one substance, as is commonly believed, but two groups of proteins (gliadin and glutein). In another way, gluten is also called gluten. It nourishes the germ of cereal plants and helps them germinate. After harvesting, it does not disappear anywhere, but remains in the plant.
Knowing the origin of this word in Russian, you can accurately understand its essence. Translated from Latin, gluten is "glue". These proteins give elasticity and viscosity to the dough, keeping the shape of the dough. Quite often, gluten is used in the manufacture of ice cream, candy, bag soups, beer, French fries, ketchup, and other sauces.
What is harmful
To understand the negative qualities of gluten, consider the mechanism of its passage through the human body.
Gluten enters the human body with food and travels to the small intestine. This is where the unpleasant moments begin. Protein provokes atrophy of the absorbing villi in the walls of the small intestine. This makes it difficult for the intestines to perform their functions.
Human immunity reacts to gluten like a virus or harmful bacterium and begins to produce antibodies directed against these proteins. And the protein gliadin is similar in structure to nerve cells, heart cells, cells of the thyroid and pancreatic glands. As a result, antibodies begin to destroy these cells as well.
At the same time, intestinal problems can begin: flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, allergic reactions and, in extreme cases, leaky gut syndrome. In this case, serious diseases of other organs and the circulatory system as a whole threaten.
And because of the reaction of the immune system, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes and Hashimoto's goiter generally develop.
But most of these reactions occur in people with celiac disease - gluten intolerance (an autoimmune disease). It is their body that begins the urgent production of antibodies aimed at destroying a complex protein.
Attention! Doctors recommend that healthy people gradually, with age, reduce the consumption of gluten-containing foods, but not completely abandon them.
Substance content in corn
Now we come to the most important question: is there gluten in corn flour and cereals? Corn is a gluten-free product. Groats and flour also do not contain it, since the vegetable itself does not contain gluten.
100 grams of corn contains 60 g of carbohydrates, 10.3 g of protein, 9.6 g of fiber. The energy value of the product is 44.1 kcal per 100 grams.
As for cereals from corn, its calorie content, of course, is higher - 328 kcal. Of the useful substances, it contains chromium, cobalt, manganese, copper, molybdenum, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. There are also enough vitamins in it: A, B1-B6, B9, PP, E, H (biotin).
Other gluten-free cereals
Corn isn't the only grain that's gluten-free. These also include buckwheat, rice and millet.They can be safely eaten by people with celiac disease, as well as those prone to allergies.
The most useful is buckwheat. It contains the largest amount of essential acids (8, as in oatmeal).
Among the unpopular grains, it should be said about sorghum, chumiz and sago. Chumiza is black rice. Produced in the form of cereals and flour. Sago is obtained from the heart of the sago trunk (palm) and cornstarch. Sorghum can be found in three types: flour, starch, and cereal.
Also worth noting is a pseudo-grain culture like quinoa. Recently, it has become increasingly popular among adherents of proper nutrition. It is added to various dishes (yoghurts, soups, salads), porridge is boiled, and flour is made. Pasta, bread, and other quinoa flour products are commercially available.
What does "This product contains traces of gluten" mean
Similar phrases are often found on various store products. We see the same inscriptions for peanuts and lactose. This is because these are strong allergens.
The phrase "The product contains traces of gluten" means that they have a small percentage of this protein. Not critical, but carrying a possible danger for people with intolerance.
Unfortunately, the absence of such an inscription does not guarantee the complete absence of gluten in the product. Therefore, you need to be very careful with new products.
Pros and cons of a gluten-free diet
Such a diet is a lifesaver for people with celiac disease. It is also used to lose weight and alleviate the course of certain diseases: diabetes, asthma, schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease, atherosclerosis, psoriasis, migraine, autism.
The diet is about avoiding foods that contain gluten.
- corn, buckwheat, rice, millet;
- meat and fish;
- vegetable oils;
- fresh fruits;
- vegetables (fresh, boiled, steamed or baked);
- fresh berries;
- legumes (peas, beans, lentils);
- natural cottage cheese;
- dairy and fermented milk products with a short shelf life;
- quality tea, gluten free coffee.
You should refuse beer, kvass, canned food, any fast food, pasta and bakery products, industrial sauces, chips, ice cream and yogurt with a long shelf life, blue cheese, tea bags, instant coffee. This also includes cereals not listed above on the gluten-free list.
Corn and fruits will help to cope with the lack of sweets. Corn really has a very rich and unique taste that can "trick" the body. You can take the cob apart into grains and eat them like little candy.
- Cleansing the body of toxins.
- Rapid weight loss.
- Improving the skin.
- Feeling of lightness and energy.
- A wide list of permitted foods and a large number of cooking variations.
- There is no strict control over portion sizes.
- It is very difficult for those with a sweet tooth to completely abandon flour products, cakes, etc. But this is only at the beginning. Fruits are great for helping you switch to proper nutrition.
- Constant control over the composition of products.
- Replenishment of fiber, iron and vitamin B is necessary.
reference... Despite the harm of gluten, it also contains useful substances. While avoiding this protein, it is very important to increase your intake of foods high in these substances. The lack of iron is replenished by apples and buckwheat, fiber - by vegetables and fruits. B vitamins are abundant in fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, and spinach.
All other disadvantages are not so significant when your health is on the other side of the scale.
Doctors recommend that everyone, without exception, reduce the consumption of gluten-containing foods. We can easily get the beneficial substances in this protein from other products.
Real contraindications to gluten consumption:
- gluten intolerance - celiac disease.
For other categories of people, the use of this substance is not so dangerous if we talk about moderate doses.
Corn is one of the few gluten-free cereals. This is a real treat, which will also be a very useful helper in a gluten-free diet. In fact, this is not even a diet, but just proper nutrition.
Canned food, fast food, beer, a large number of flour products are dangerous not only for the presence of this substance. It is enough for healthy people to give up these products, eliminate the excess amount of gluten consumed in order to get rid of minor sores and improve the quality of life.