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What Is Gluten-Free Ketchup?

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  • Written By: Sonal Panse
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 October 2017
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Gluten-free ketchup is a ketchup that is made without any gluten content. Gluten is a protein that is naturally found in grains like wheat, barley, rye and oats. It is not an absolutely necessary ingredient for making ketchup, but it is often used as a stabilizing agent and binder. The inclusion of gluten may or may not be mentioned in the ingredient list of regular ketchups, but gluten-free ketchup and other specifically gluten-free foods will usually carry the gluten-free statement on their food product labels.

Gluten is not always bad or unhealthy, but some people have a gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity that is generally genetic in nature. People from America and Europe seem to be more prone to gluten intolerance than people from Asia and Africa. In addition to genetic predisposition, a greater exposure to processed foods may be a possible cause.

Gluten intolerance basically means that people with this problem are unable to digest gluten and therefore cannot safely eat foods containing this protein. It is essential for such individuals to follow a gluten-free lifestyle and eat only gluten-free foods. If a gluten-free diet is not followed, these people can suffer from several allergies and health problems, and may stand a strong chance of developing celiac disease.

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This is a debilitating disease that affects the inner lining of the small intestine and it is caused by gluten intolerance. The gluten protein damages the villi, which are the tiny folds present in the intestine lining, necessary for absorbing nutrients. The damage to the villi makes digestion difficult, and can lead to health issues like severe diarrhea and bloating. Patients will suffer from vitamin deficiency and drastic weight loss. It can also lead to anemia and osteoporosis.

Many food manufacturers produce gluten-free ketchup and other gluten-free foods for people on a gluten-free diet. The product label should state if a food is gluen-free, but it may help to check the manufacturer's website for information or to contact the manufacturer and inquire about the presence or exclusion of gluten in their product. People who have gluten intolerance are advised to always inquire about gluten-free foods when dining out or when traveling in other countries. Avoiding foods that specifically contain wheat or other grains may help if other information is not available.

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