Did you know that about 6-7% of the world population suffers from gluten insensitivity? That’s a really large number, right?
Yes, I know it is. I also know that there is a possibility that you’re part of that percentage, and you’re probably reading this article because you’re trying your best to avoid gluten like the flu.
Gluten is present in a lot of foods and cooking oils. This article focuses on the relationship between gluten and your cooking oils, especially vegetable oils.
Is Vegetable Oil Gluten-Free
Yes, vegetable oils are gluten-free. Vegetable oil is made from non-gluten sources. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. It does not exist in plant-based oils like vegetable oils.
None of the familiar sources of cooking oils have gluten. Although, there can be cases of cross-contamination during production, which might leave traces of a tiny amount of gluten in your vegetable oils.
While cross-contamination is possible, always be sure of the sources of the oil before purchasing.
The following are ways to be sure that your vegetable oil is free of gluten:
Check your oils to be sure it is gluten-free. If your vegetable oil is labeled gluten-free, this implies it has been vetted and is most likely safe to eat. Check the tags on your vegetable oils and be sure it is labeled gluten-free.
It’s not just enough to see a gluten-free label, be sure that there are no extra flavors or additives that are gluten-based mixed with your vegetable oils. It’s most important to check the ingredients added to your products, especially if it is not labeled gluten-free.
Whether you’re at home or a restaurant, be sure that your gluten-free oils have not been mixed with gluten-based sources.
Keep your kitchen clean, make certain oils do not get mixed with gluten-containing substances.
Avoid frying different foods in the same oil or fryer. Be careful and ask enough questions when you get foods that are not homemade.
Is Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil Gluten-free?
Hydrogenated vegetable oils are those made from edible plant-based oils like sunflower, soybeans, and olives.
They contain hydrogenated molecules usually added to alter the final product’s stability, shelf life, and texture.
The hydrogenation process involves sparging the oil at high temperatures and pressure with hydrogen molecules in the presence of a catalyst.
Although the hydrogen molecules added to hydrogenated vegetable oils make it less healthy, no information on gluten.
Hydrogenated vegetable oil is made from plant-based products that do not have gluten contents. The only difference between hydrogenated vegetable oil and regular vegetable oil is hydrogen molecules.
These molecules are added to get more solid and spreadable consistency, alter the stability, and make the oils last for an extended period and less likely to spoil.
If your hydrogenated vegetable oil has gluten, this could result from cross-contamination with gluten-based products.
To exempt you from such conditions, it is paramount you ensure that your hydrogenated vegetable oils are labeled gluten-free and not mixed with gluten-based ingredients or additives.
What Are Gluten-free Oils?
Gluten is a type of protein found in whole and processed foods, e.g., wheat, barley, bread, rye. Its major components are glutenin and gliadin, the latter responsible for most of the adverse effects of gluten.
Many people who feel uncomfortable after eating gluten or gluten-based diets are allergic to it. Their body recognizes gluten as harmful and foreign and fights it. This condition gives rise to many health problems like bloating, constipation, digestive issues, nutrition deficiencies, and risks to many other diseases.
Gluten-free oils are simply cooking oils that do not have gluten as a significant component, making them safe for people with the aforementioned conditions. Most people without gluten allergies and specific health conditions are not affected by gluten, but people with these conditions are strongly advised to eliminate gluten from their diets. That would mean using majorly gluten-free oils for cooking. Most cooking oils are naturally gluten-free. Examples of them are plant-based vegetable oils like olive oils, canola oils, coconut oils, sunflower oils, e.t.c.
What Are The Benefits of Gluten-free Oils?
Maintaining a gluten-free diet using gluten-free oils comes with many advantages, especially for those allergic to it and people with health conditions intolerant to gluten. Here are some significant benefits of using gluten-free oils:
1. Prevents digestive problems
People who are intolerant to gluten develop digestive problems after eating gluten-based food products.
Some of these include bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and many other discomforting symptoms. Following a diet with gluten-free oils will help avoid such digestive issues, alleviating their symptoms.
An example is that of a study carried on people with celiac disease. The study focused on giving gluten-free diets to the patients for six months. The study showed that this diet helped reduce stomach pains, diarrhea, constipation, and other symptoms.
2. Weight loss
Oils or fats with gluten contents are not pure and are, in most cases, mixed with gluten-based products.
A large percentage of such foods are processed foods with added sugars and junk foods. Strictly following a gluten-free diet with gluten-free oils will help you avoid eating such foods.
Since junk and processed foods cause unnecessary weight gain, avoiding such foods will help you keep a healthy weight or shed excess weight.
Focus on eating gluten-free oils and foods that are prepared with gluten-free ingredients.
3. Reduces chronic inflammation
Eating diets made with gluten-free oils can help avoid inflammation or chronic inflammation in those with celiac diseases.
Chronic inflammation is a significant adverse effect that people with celiac disease, and if left uncontrolled, it can lead to severe health consequences.
Consuming gluten-free oils can help reduce the risks of having inflammation In people with such conditions.
4. Elevates energy level
Gluten-free oils help provide the energy needed to perform our day-to-day activities. Oils are a significant source of energy and a carrier of several nutrients required by the body.
Consumption of gluten-free oils helps prevent weakness from the absence of some vitamins and minerals, contributing to our overall energy level.
This also helps prevent sluggishness, brain fog, or tiredness because of nutrient deficiencies in people.
According to research, 66% of people who complain of fatigue and tiredness complain less when introduced to gluten-free diets and foods made from gluten-free oils.
5. Overall improved health
Gluten-free oils can help avoid all adverse health conditions attached to eating gluten foods.
Celiac diseases, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten ataxia, and wheat allergy are all medical conditions that do not tolerate gluten-based food products.
In patients with these medical conditions, consumption of gluten bases foods is responded to with a series of conditions detrimental to their health.
Following a gluten-free diet is a significant hack to avoiding these adverse effects and improving overall health.
Are All Cooking Oils Gluten-free?
Naturally, most cooking oils are gluten-free, especially those that are plant-based. Examples of gluten-free oils are sunflower oil, canola oil, olive oil, and vegetable oil.
Olive oil, for example, is derived from olives which are naturally gluten-free, and canola oils derived from canola seeds are also naturally gluten-free. It is safe to say all cooking oils are gluten-free.
However, some cooking oils might come in contact with gluten during processing. That’s why reading labels has never been so important; reading the titles of your cooking oils will help you know whether there are flavors or other additives that are gluten-based.
To ensure that oil is gluten-free, be sure that it is not mixed with any contaminants during production, make sure that they are produced cleanly, with no risk of cross-contamination.
Reach out to manufacturers and be sure to read the labels to be specific. While cooking oils are usually gluten-free, some food items might be made from gluten-based oils, as some foods cooked in oils may not be gluten-free.
Some fried foods are gluten-free, but the adds ingredients might have sources of gluten. For example, potatoes and corn are naturally gluten-free, but the oils or fryer might have been fried with other food products containing gluten. This will most likely contaminate the oil and make it gluten-based.
Finally, while these might be a little restricting, putting the listed tips into practice is essential.
Gluten-containing oils don’t affect everyone, but people with disease conditions that are not gluten tolerable should ensure they keep gluten-free oils.
Also, your overall health depends on how much you’re able to eat gluten-based foods.
When you eat out, ask questions to be sure your food hasn’t been mixed with gluten. Read your vegetable oil labels and ensure that they are tagged gluten-free.