Dietary intolerances can be a difficult thing to live with. Often you’re left lacking in vital nutrition. Unless you make everything from scratch, you spend most of your time in the grocery store reading and re-reading labels.
Protein bars can be a quick and convenient way to fill the nutritional holes in your diet. However they can also be packed with allergens you need to beware of. So, what are the best organic and gluten free protein bars? Let’s take a look and find out.
What is Gluten Free All About Anyway?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, oats and barley. When some people eat gluten, their body produces an immune response which attacks the small intestine and leads to gastrointestinal discomfort.
Anyone allergic to gluten suffers from a severe autoimmune disorder called celiac disease (also called coeliac disease in the UK) which affects 1 in 100 people worldwide.
According to the Celiac Disease Foundation,
two and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications.
Celiac disease can affect anyone at anytime. Some people are born with a sensitivity to gluten (which is why most formula and baby foods are now gluten free) where as some people develop the condition later in life. Left untreated, celiac disease can lead to a plethora of serious health issues.
What Are The Symptoms of Celiac Disease?
The most common and notable symptom of celiac disease is any form of gastrointestinal distress after consuming foods containing gluten. Bear in mind, every person experiences the sensitivity differently and at different levels. Most people experience some form of abdominal pain and bloating, right up to violent bouts of diarrhea and vomiting.
Other symptoms which most celiac sufferers experience but don’t necessarily relate to food intolerance are eczema, dermatitis, iron deficiency anemia and even infertility and miscarriage. As these symptoms are not something you would initially link with any kind of food allergy, this means it can be incredibly difficult to diagnose celiac disease.
Although anyone can develop celiac disease, it is a hereditary condition. So those with a first degree relative with the disease (parent, sibling etc) have a 1 in 10 chance of developing the condition at some point in their lives.
The Long Term Health Effects of Celiac Disease
If left untreated, celiac disease can lead to severe health issues including:
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Early onset osteoporosis or osteopenia
- Infertility and miscarriage
- Lactose intolerance
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Central and peripheral nervous system disorders
- Pancreatic insufficiency
- Gall bladder malfunction
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Small intestinal adenocarcinoma
- Esophageal carcinoma
- Papillary thyroid cancer
What Treatment is Available for Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is a lifelong condition with the only treatment being to follow a strict gluten free diet. Albeit, people experience different levels of sensitivity, some can eat a sandwich before experiencing any symptoms where another can’t ingest a crumb without rushing to the bathroom.
Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity
Some people also experience the symptoms of celiac disease when they consume gluten, yet do not test positive for celiac disease. The terms non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and non-celiac wheat sensitivity (NCWS) refer to this condition. Removing gluten from the diet resolves symptoms.
Symptoms of NCGS and NCWS often include:
- Foggy mind
- ADHD-like behavior
- Abdominal pain
- Bloating, diarrhea
- Bone or joint pain
- Chronic fatigue
Who Needs Gluten Free Protein Bars?
Protein snack bars have the potential to be a wonderful on-the-go snack. Not only are they super convenient but are a great way to fill nutritional gaps in your diet.
However, as many bars on the market are packed with artificial fillers, GMOs as well as other questionable ingredients, finding a protein bar which is organic while abstaining from gluten can be a challenge.
The Best Organic and Gluten Free Protein Bars
To make it easier for you, I’ve taken a look at all of the products currently available and chosen five top competitors to share with you today.
I have tried to select products where the ingredients are super easy to understand and are more importantly, healthy and gluten free!
For me it has to be the Glo Protein Bars from Raw Revolution. Not only are they organic and gluten free, but being vegan and kosher opens them up to a wide variety of people. Plus being made in the USA offers confidence in the quality of the product.
Best of all, they are super affordable. All in all an excellent product for anyone looking to add an organic and gluten free protein bar into their diet.