5 Biggest Gluten Myths -- Don't Be Fooled! (VIDEO)

white breadQuick, tell me what gluten is. No Google peeking! What is gluten, exactly? Maybe that's an easy one for you, but when people were interviewed for the Jimmy Kimmel Live show, they came up with the most ridiculous responses, or non-responses, to that question I've ever heard. Holy dinner rolls, nobody has even the foggiest notion of what the stuff is! Apparently we have some severe misconceptions about Big G. Maybe it's time we cleared up some of the biggest myths about gluten. How much do you know?

First, gluten defined: Special proteins found in wheat and other grains. Gluten is what gives bread dough its elasticity, helps it rise, and gives it a chewy texture. Now for the myths.

1. Gluten and carbs are pretty much the same thing. Lots of foods that are high in carbohydrates (like potatoes) do not have gluten. The two terms are not interchangeable. You couldn't even say that gluten is a kind of carbohydrate. It's just that some foods high in carbohydrates are also high in gluten. But they are not the same thing.

2. All grains have gluten. Just wheat, barley, rye, and triticale have gluten. Amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, quinoa, oats, and wild rice are gluten-free. You just have to be careful about how they're processed to make sure there hasn't been any cross-contamination.

More From The Stir: 5 Bread Myths Debunked Will Make You Love Bread Again

3. Gluten is bad for you. Nope. Unless you have celiac disease (which is rare) or have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten in moderation is not harmful.

4. Gluten makes you fat. It does not. Some of the foods that happen to have gluten could cause you to gain weight: Donuts, muffins, cake, and other empty-calorie foods. Cutting those out could help you drop pounds if you're also eating more nutrient-dense foods like fresh vegetables. But gluten itself does not make you fat, and going gluten-free won't necessarily help you drop pounds -- especially since many gluten-free foods are loaded with sugar and other crap.

5. A gluten-free diet is healthier. Again, this is true only if eating gluten makes your horribly ill. Everyone needs to eat a variety of foods that give you vitamins, minerals, protein, and slow-release energy. And we should all be avoiding junk food.

And now that we're all so well informed, let's all have a giggle at these people's expense, shall we?

How much did you know about gluten before you read this? Do you think most people are confused about gluten?


Image via Mitchenall/Flickr

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ashjo85 ashjo85

I have celiac, and, yeah. Most people are confused. Including myself half the time! Gluten pops up in the weirdest things.

caleb... calebsmama12312

My gram has celiac & she can't eat oats. I wonder why if there's no gluten in oats?

ashjo85 ashjo85

There's no gluten in pure oats, but the way it's grown with the crop rotation, commerical oats almost always has some in it. You can buy gluten-free oats that have been farmed in pure soil.

redK8... redK8blueSt8

I have IBS and Keratosis Pilaris, both of them can be side effects of a gluten intolerance. For me, both of them cleared up when I stopped eating it.

I am amazed at what has gluten in it. Nearly everything with thickening like condensed soups (did find a g-free cream of mushroom and chicken thank goodness!) to ketchup. 

The sad thing is, with the raising popularity of gluten free fad diets, the FDA has decided that a product can be labeled "gluten free" if it has less than 20 parts per million in it. That  might be a low enough percentage number if you've just got an intolerance, but if you're Celiac it's NOT. Greatly increases the likelihood that someone will think they're preparing gluten free meals for someone and actually be feeding them gluten. And it's not just in the grains listed here either. Almost all "natural flavoring" and "caramel coloring" on an ingredients list contains gluten. 

MamaK... MamaKayGF

Ummm no, unless oats specifically say gluten free you should never assume they are. That's seriously misleading. Also, gluten is bad for everyone. You can equate it with artificial colors/flavors/concentrates/etc. They're not real and not good for you. And finally, yes gluten can make you gain weight. It's actually one of the symptoms of gluten-intolerance (not Celiac). People don't even realize they're intolerant yet they can't lose weight. Gluten. Seriously, just don't eat it. Research.





knitt... knittykitty99

MamaKayGF -  I read the articles you posted.  They are about undiagnosed celiac and gluten sensitivity.  They DO NOT suggest that gluten is bad for everyone.  Go back and re-read.  Only a very small portion of the population needs to avoid gluten for health reasons.  All of the pretenders make it much harder for those of us who really do have celiac disease.  I think this article contains good info - the website Celiac.com has lots more.

MamaK... MamaKayGF

knittykitty99- My point is that A LOT of people have gluten intolerance and/or sensitivity and don't even know it. You don't need to have celiac to have a reaction to gluten.

And, I do believe gluten is bad for EVERYONE. Again, I equate it with anything artificial. Remember back in the day when splenda and other artificial sweeteners was "the thing" instead of using sugar? Now we know that artificial sweeteners are bad for EVERYONE. I believe that gluten will be follow suit.

My daughter has celiac, we've been a gf household for a long time now and I have done extensive research on the topic. I could never be convinced that gluten is okay for anyone, ever. So maybe those "pretenders" are really just people that know better. Plus, the more people that go gf, the better. It's gaining popularity, therefore the food is much more accessible! As a mom always on the lookout for good gf food, I view that as a positive thing.

Sorry if my comment(s) bother you. My intent is not to offend, it's to help, and I do enough research to be equipped to do so. As someone with celiac, I'd think you'd understand my need to correct what I feel is misleading information. Back when we started our gf journey, I looked at things like this and took them as truth. Now I know better, and I'm trying to encourage others to do more research.

nonmember avatar FJ


Gluten is not BAD for everyone. Anything should be comsumed in moderation. Everyone has a little lactose intolerance which is why you should not have too much dairy. Also eggs are the same way. Should we cut off milk just because sometimes we consume too much and it makes us gasy? No! Should we limit ourselves? Yes! Intolerance isn't an allergy. So those claiming to have an allergy to gluten yet has never had allergy symptoms like hives or rash, shortness of breath, or swelling are most likely self diagnosed.

MamaK... MamaKayGF

FJ, I agree that no one should lie and say they have an allergy they don't really have. But, like I said, maybe these people aren't claiming to have an allergy. Maybe they just know better. And, again, yes I do believe it's bad for everyone. I've seen it. I am a childcare provider. You'd be amazed at the differences in the children that have an all natural, gf, low or no dairy diet and the ones that eat whatever. Behaviorally/emotionally/physically/ etc.

Again, I'm only trying to encourage people to do more research.

amazz... amazzonia

THANK YOU!!!! this gluten free trends is convincing me even more that there are a bunch of powerful people just making fun of us, they come up with the weirdest things and see how many people fall for it

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