Protein bars are a popular snack and meal replacement option for many people. Protein is essential for building muscle-making protein bars, an excellent pre and post-workout snack.
Additionally, many protein bars have an abundance of other nutrients, vitamins, and amino acids beneficial to a healthy body. However, not every protein bar is Gluten-free, and for those who have Celiac disease or find they have a hard time digesting Gluten, it can be a deal-breaker.
In this article, we will be looking at what exactly gluten intolerance is and alternative ingredients to look for when purchasing protein bars.
What is Gluten
Gluten is a protein naturally found in wheat and other grains. Take a minute to consider all the foods that have some form of grain in them, and you will realize that Gluten is everywhere. We will discuss more below, but many people are intolerant to Gluten and need a Gluten-free diet which can be hard to find.
While Gluten is a naturally occurring substance in our foods, many mass-produced food companies extract Gluten and use it as a binding agent for their products. So, believe it or not, there is Gluten in even more foods than you realize.
What is Gluten Intolerance
The human body has enzymes that digest and break down foods to distribute and energize the body. The enzyme used to break down proteins, which Gluten is, is called Protease, and unlike other proteins, it is unable to break down Gluten completely. The intact Gluten goes through your digestive system undisturbed until it reaches the small intestine.
This is not a problem for most people as they can handle a little gluten in their lower intestine, but for people with gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, it can lead to complications in the body.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune reaction to Gluten in your lower intestine. Undigested gluten can damage the small intestine, which triggers other side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, iron deficiency, etc. The damage to the small intestine can limit one’s ability to absorb other nutrients, leading to many complications.
What Are Some Alternative Ingredients To Gluten
When looking for gluten-free protein bars, you will want to look for plant-based bars that don’t contain any wheat binding agents. Popular gluten-free ingredients are oats and nuts.
Whey is probably the most popular ingredient in protein bars and powders because it contains such a high concentration of protein and the best part is that it is Gluten-free. This is suppression to many people, as whey and wheat sound so similar many assume they are derived from one another. But in fact, whey is made from milk when separated in the cheese-making process.
Gluten-Free Protein Bars Are A Great Addition To Your Diet
The importance of protein in one’s diet can not be overstated, and when you add all the other helpful ingredients and nutrients you tend to find in protein bars, they are undoubtedly a great food item to add to your daily diet. There is no need to deprive yourself of enjoying protein bars for those who suffer from gluten intolerance, as they can still be made without Gluten.