Bread baked from scratch
Food For Better Health,  How Food Works,  Main Course,  Pork,  Recipes

What is Gluten and Should You Go Gluten-Free?

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Have you ever wondered exactly what is gluten?

It refers to a family of proteins known as prolamins (primarily glutenin and gliadin) that constitute the storage protein in the starchy endosperm of many cereal grains such as wheat, barley, and rye.

Wheat and other cereals are made into flour, containing various proteins, one of which is glutenin, otherwise known as gluten.

Viewed alone, gluten is a tough, elastic, grayish substance resembling chewing gum which works as a leavening agent, when the flour is kneaded.

These types of grains make up a large portion of the modern American diet.

Probably because of their palatability, ease of cultivation, and use in a wide variety of foods.

What does gluten do?

Gas contained within a dough or batter helps the baked goods rise.

The gas occurs when bread dough is kneaded.

Most, but not all, flours contain gluten in different amounts.

Bread flour has a high gluten content and is therefore good for yeast-based breads, which need an elastic framework to rise.

However, low-protein (which means low-gluten) cake flour has a softer, less elastic quality and is better for cakes.

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Where is gluten?

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Gluten is found in many grains, including wheat.  It is also a vital ingredient in a wide range of breads, pasta, and other products.

There is a type of wheat starch that is gluten-free, by thoroughly washing wheat flour with water, which removes the glutenin proteins.

Surprisingly, it is also in canned vegetables or vegetable ready meals containing certain emulsifiers, preservatives, thickening agents, stabilizers, or starch.

Seitan labeled foods
If you see the word “Seitan,” it contains GLUTEN.

Fruit fillings containing thickening agents, starch, or both.

Processed cheeses.

Sausage products and processed meats.

Packaged batter mixes and bread crumbs.

Margarine and vegetable oils containing additives.

Coffee or cocoa containing additives.

Soft drinks, beer, and malt drinks.


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Should you go gluten-free?

Celiac Disease ExplanationFresh fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free, as well as potatoes, rice, legumes, fish, and fresh meat.

Manufactures use rice flour instead of wheat flour in some products.

Xanthan gum is a substitute for making dough stretchy.

Some folks are very sensitive to gluten and experience serious health problems from eating it.

Celiac disease can lead to stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, and fatigue; eventually causing permanent damage to the intestines.

NCGS {non-celiac gluten sensitivity} is associated with a wide range of both gastrointestinal and nongastrointestinal symptoms which occur after going on a GFD, then consuming those same foods you have avoided.

These symptoms may include bloating, abdominal discomfort and pain, altered bowel habits, flatulence, rash, fatigue, headaches, mental disturbances, irritability, depression, bone and joint pain, and even attention deficit disorder.

Which are also common symptoms of IBS {irritable bowel syndrom}.

According to a study conducted by Benjamin Niland, MD and Brooks D. Cash, MD for the Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, convincing evidence is available to support the benefits of a GFD for certain patient populations with a gluten-related disease (especially patients with IBS and NCGS), HOWEVER, the data is conflicting and not definitive.

Conclusions are more concerning for healthy adults attempting a GFD, which can result in a lack of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Dangers of a GFD could outweigh the benefits.

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There are natural and unprocessed foods that can help remedy GFD nutrient deficiencies.

Typically, gluten supplies fiber, vitamin B, vitamin D, folic acid, iron, calcium, zinc, and magnesium to our bodies.

LIST of gluten free whole grains




















Gluten related diseases affect less than 1% of the population in the United States, according to the Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

The popularity of a GFD has significantly increased over the last 30 years; probably due to media coverage and marketing by food manufactures.

The avoidance of the protein has extended to the population of healthy individuals who believe that adhering to a GFD may have immediate health benefits or may prevent the development of future diseases.

My personal experience is when I eat pasta, bread, or these types of food, I feel lethargic and swollen; so…

as with most foods, everything in moderation.

Are you “gluten-conscience, like me?”

If so, here is a perfect recipe.

Center Cut Pork Chops with Veggies for Two

Simple, healthy sheet pan dinner that you can prep and have to the table in under 50 minutes.
Course dinner, Main Course, Pork
Cuisine American
Keyword Healthy, pork, vegetables
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting Time 5 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 2 Servings
Calories 408kcal
Author JoAnn's Food Bites


  • 1 lb. Center cut pork chops
  • 3 T. Olive Oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 6 ozs. Asparagus stalks
  • 15 ozs. red potatoes cut into halves
  • 1 t. ground thyme
  • 1 t. Smoked Paprika
  • 1/4 t. Salt and pepper


  • Preheat oven to 400º
  • In a bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, cheese, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Place pork chops on a baking sheet, lined with non-stick foil.
  • Take a teaspoon of the mixture and place on top of each pork chop. Using the back of the spoon, or a basting brush, spread the mixture on top of each chop.
  • In the bowl containing the remaining mixture, drop in your potatoes and asparagus. Using a spoon, stir to coat the veggies with the mixture.
  • Spoon vegetables onto sheet pan, in one single layer. Making sure veggies do not touch the pork chops.
  • Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until pork reaches 145º.
  • Remove pan from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Serve.



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