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Gluten Free - are you ready?

04 April 2018

Gluten Free - are you ready?

The UK free from market is estimated to be £365 million and is forecast to grow 50% by 2019 (Mintel). With 13% of the UK population estimated to be avoiding gluten (Mintel) can you afford to miss this opportunity?

Gluten-free & Free from are the buzz words of the moment, with an increase in products lining the shelves of Grocery aisles, but what’s all the fuss about?

Gluten is basically a special type of protein that is found in foods such as cereals, certain grains, and wheat & mainly prevents other foods from having a sticky, doughy-like texture. It is typically added to most processed foods to keep their shape.

Some people have an intolerance to Gluten & are called Coeliac and must follow a Gluten free diet.

However, with increased awareness & research many people are opting to follow a Gluten free diet for health reasons, even if they are not intolerant to Gluten.

Many foods that are processed contain a lot of gluten, as well as chemicals, unhealthy oils and artificial flavours which can be extremely harmful to our bodies.

So, by virtue of following a Gluten free diet, you are eliminating processed foods which can help reduce your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and other health-related conditions, like diabetes.

On a gluten-free diet, the importance of Nuts, Fruits and Vegetables increases significantly- foods which are full of antioxidants, and essential vitamins and minerals.

The Nature’s Table Snacking Nut ranges are virtually all GLUTEN FREE* and ideal power foods when following a Free from Diet.

We are a Direct to Store nominated supplier of over 45 types of Healthy Fruit & Nut Snacks.

Please visit our website www.natures-table.co.uk or call 0333 666 0990 to discuss stocking our fabulous ranges.

*excluding for Snacks products and 3 Just Bars

 

What is protein?

Alongside carbohydrates and fat, protein is one of the essential nutrients that our bodies need. Proteins have many functions and are often referred to as the “building blocks” of the body, forming collagen in bone and keratin in skin, hair and nails amongst others. Proteins are crucial to our health, they are responsible for making sure many of our body systems are working properly and effectively.

 

Where do we get protein from?

Protein is found in an incredibly wide and diverse range of foods, and it’s perhaps easiest to break down the nutrient into two source categories; plant-derived, and animal-derived.

As the name suggests, plant-derived proteins come from foods that are sourced from plants, including vegetables, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, and cereals. Plant-derived foods are the source of most of the world’s protein, in fact around 60% of the protein we eat is plant-derived.

Animal-derived proteins are found in foods that originate from animals. This of course includes meat, but also any foods produced from animal sourced products; milk, cheese, eggs, butter, and yoghurt are all animal-derived. In North America and Europe, consumption of proteins from animals greatly outnumbers that of proteins from plants.

Alongside these two traditional sources, people are increasingly looking towards “quick fix” sources of protein; namely, protein supplements in the form of powders, shakes, and bars. These supplements – usually made from whey, hemp, casein, or rice – are popular amongst weightlifters and bodybuilders as they allow for a high and concentrated consumption of protein within a short period of time.

Why are high protein diets so popular?

There’s a good reason why protein has become the nutrient of choice for fitness fanatics and fad dieters alike; its connection to our muscles. Protein is essential not only to make sure our muscles function on a basic level, but also for building and repairing them.

It’s for the latter reason that professional athletes have been consuming diets high in the nutrient for years. The daily strain placed on the body of an athlete means that extra attention is required to not just ensure muscles are able to work at peak capacity, but also to increase the rate of muscle repair should injuries happen.

Similar thinking has been employed by bodybuilders, professional or not. Because of the role it plays in building and repairing muscles, an attitude of “more protein = more muscles” has become increasingly popular in recent years.

The high protein diet is also often adopted by those wanting to lose weight, believing that a high protein, low carbohydrate diet will be the key to shifting those excess pounds. Indeed the lack of carbohydrates in the diet results in the body burning more stored fat than carbohydrates for energy use. However, good carbohydrates such as rice, oats, polenta, legumes and millet are full of varying vitamins and minerals and do not lead to weight gain.

The general attitude appears to be that the more protein you have in a diet, the healthier that diet is. But is this true?

How much protein should we be eating?

 In the UK, it’s advised that, on average, men should eat around 55g of protein a day, whilst women should eat 45g. That’s around two palm-sized portions of high protein foods, like legumes, fish, meat, or nuts.

The daily allowance of protein can also be measured on individual circumstances, with 0.75g of protein recommended per kg of body weight. This means that the more you weigh, the more protein you should be eating.

The protein we eat should also come from a wide variety of sources, and so it’ a good idea to switch up the foods we eat on a daily basis. This is because, before protein can be used by the body, it needs to be broken down into amino acids, and different foods contain different sets of these. That means if you’re just eating chicken breasts, or gulping down supplements, you won’t be getting all the essential amino acids your body needs.

Protein should be an essential part of a diet, but as always, it’s important to get the right balance.

 

York Test Laboratories,

 

Posted: 04/04/2018 13:07:45 by Katie Smith

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