Definition of Gluten

Yesterday I shared with you part one of this expert interview series featuring Dr. Peter Osborne, who gave us greats tips on how to eat gluten-free during the holidays.

Dr. Osborne is the creator of  Gluten free Health Solution, which is an all-in-one solution for people who are trying to go gluten free need guidance but don’t want to go and spend a bunch of time with doctors, where they can just do it on their own.

As we continue on we’ll began to understand a little more about gluten.


Mike:I know a lot of people used to think it’s really hard to go gluten free. I’ll be honest, I thought that myself.

Recently, I’ve really noticed that there is a big opportunity to go gluten free. It’s a lot easier then what people think it might be so that’s a very good point.

My next question is, when we’re shopping in the grocery store or even at a Whole Foods kind of grocery store, things that are labeled gluten free is there a chance that even those could contain gluten?

Peter: Yes. It happens a lot, actually. There are two terminologies that your listeners want to be aware of. One is what we would call traditional gluten free, which is what the food labeling laws go by. They go by this traditional definition of gluten. Gluten in a nutshell is wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats depending on who you talk to. That’s the traditional definition, which is to actually list gluten as only being in those three or four grains.

The actual definition or what we would call the true gluten free definition is that gluten is actually found in all grains, including corn, including rice, including sorghum. Those are probably the three most commonly used gluten free substitutes, even though they’re technically not gluten free.

It can get confusing if you don’t know your way around the terminology. If you just are aware that if it’s a grain that it contains gluten then you know to avoid it.

We actually have (we can put a link or we can put something up for your listeners) a master list of all those terms so that if they want to read those food labels and make sure that something is actually truly gluten free, they can use this list to make sure that they’re avoiding gluten safely.

Mike:    Fantastic. That would be great. Where can we get that list?

Peter: I’ll send you a link. If you want to put that up below this audio then we can do that. I have it on Gluten free Society. There’s a master list there that I update periodically.

Mike:    That would be fantastic. Awesome stuff. That’s really surprising. One of the things that you said that surprised me was oats. I know you said it depends on who you talk to. There is a chance that there is actually gluten in oats?

Peter: No, not a chance. All oats have gluten. That’s the misconception, is that when we call something gluten free, we’re referring back to a 1952 research study. Unfortunately, we have 60 years of research and medical studies that have happened since 1952. It’s just that the food labeling laws don’t address that.

A lot of the companies that are claiming to be gluten free product makers, a lot of these companies, even though the research is out there, they just ignore it. I don’t think the companies are out to get people and keep them sick.

As a doctor treating chronically ill patients all the time in my office, what we see is we see a lot of people come into my office that are actually on a traditional gluten free diet and they’re just not better. One of the biggest reasons why is because they continue to eat the other glutens found in the other gains because the other grains are called gluten free when you look at food labels.

That’s why we have those definition differences and those terminology differences that we try to educate doctors and patients about. A lot of times, the biggest hold up is the market itself. The biggest hold up for a person to be healthy is the market promoting gluten free foods that aren’t really gluten free.

Mike: Right. Wow. That’s very eye opening. I’m glad you brought that up.

Ok folks that all for today. Join me tomorrow we continue to learn more about eating gluten free.

Yours in health and fitness,

Mike (AKA “Mikey”) Whitfield, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer