In reality, many of our foods have a lot of sugar in them, which has led to worries or questions like is sugar is gluten-free, is brown sugar gluten-free, and what type of sugar is gluten-free.
So that is why, in this article, we will find out the answer to this and all about sugar and how it relates to gluten-free diets and celiac disease.
What is Gluten?
Many grains, including wheat, barley, and rye, contain the protein known as gluten. However, there are no vital nutrients in gluten.
Gluten is generally well tolerated by most people.
But for some people, consuming gluten might result in unpleasant symptoms such as a severe immunological reaction.
The term “celiac disease” refers to this autoimmune reaction to gluten.
Because gluten causes an immunological reaction that harms the lining of the GI tract, people with this condition cannot consume it.
The body has difficulty absorbing nutrients from food due to this reaction, which also inflames the small intestine.
What is Sugar
The term for soluble carbohydrates with a sweet flavor and frequently found in food is sugar.
But in this case, we’re talking about sucrose, a disaccharide produced naturally, and you can find it in all green plants composed of two sugars (glucose and fructose) that are bonded together.
The primary sources of this sugar are beets and sugar cane, which contain sucrose. In addition to being used as a sweetener in foods and soft drinks, it is also used to make caramel, inverted sugar, preserves, jams, and syrups, as well as in processing syrup.
When you consume sucrose, it separates into glucose and fructose, which you then digest separately.
How is Sugar Gluten Free?
For many with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, sugar is a simple carbohydrate that one can consume without problems.
Yes! Gluten is not present in pure sugar. However, the sugar must be 100% pure.
Since most sugar is produced from sugar cane or sugar beets, it is free of the problematic gluten protein.
As a result, if you’re on a gluten-free diet, pure sugar derived from sugar cane or sugar beets won’t give you an allergic reaction.
In addition, while pure sugar is indeed gluten-free, excessive sugar consumption is only sometimes good for your health.
So, even though it is safe for celiacs and others who are gluten intolerant, sugar ingestion should be done in moderation.
Another thing to worry about is cross-contamination; though it is rare in sugar, it is still a risk and can happen.
How About Brown Sugar – Is Brown Sugar Gluten Free?
Simply put, brown sugar is granulated sugar (Refined sugar is ground into a size akin to table salt in food processors to create granulated sugar) mixed with molasses.
Like Granulated sugar, molasses is a product of the sugar beet and cane refinement processes and is also free of gluten.
Brown sugar’s distinctive color, flavor, and moisture are all attributed to molasses, which also contains more vitamins and minerals than other sugars.
But only if you consume it moderately does this hold.
Therefore, even though brown sugar is naturally gluten-free, consuming too much of it can result in additional health issues, which are often brought on by high sugar intake.
Why Is Sugar Sometimes Not Gluten-Free?
If you have celiac disease or a non-celiac gluten sensitivity, the fact that sugar is naturally gluten-free does not mean you should be less cautious regarding sugar consumption.
Even though no gluten is added to the finished product, they may process the sugar in a facility that also processes wheat, which can lead to cross-contamination.
The grocery stores are another instance, in some grocery stores, flour and sugar are commonly kept together; as a result, stray flour particles from significant packaging spills or leaks might easily land on your sugar package, posing a risk of cross-contamination when you touch the box or pour the sugar.
Although it may seem overly cautious, it is feasible to obtain gluten in that manner.
If you want to prevent the issue, only purchase sugar from a store where it is stored away from the flour.
Alternatively, ensure the package is well-cleaned before touching or opening it.
How to Ensure Your Sugar Is Gluten Free
1) Storage Location
Keep an eye on the area of the store where you will be grabbing the sugar.
Try to select a package that isn’t right close to the flour, as there is a chance that gluten could contaminate the sugar at the store if the flour and sugar bags are placed side by side on a shelf.
2) Gluten Free Labels
A gluten-free label is another way to confirm that the sugar you purchase is gluten-free.
Although sugar is inherently gluten-free, the label will help confirm the confirmation.
3) Clean Before Use
Ensure the sugar package is well-cleaned before touching or opening it to prevent contamination.
4) Ensure it is Pure Sugar
Ensure the sugar you purchase is pure, made from sugar cane and beets, and has no additional substances.
Although sugars come from naturally sources like gluten-free beets and sugar cane, they are still processed.
Therefore, when eating a gluten-free diet, it is essential to pay close attention to anything that has been processed.
In addition to sucrose, there are other types of sugar, like coconut sugar and palm sugar, which are made exclusively from coconut palm trees.
However, they are far less common and considered specialties. So, you might also look that up.