Lesson 07 – Gluten and Lactose

Share to Brightspace Continue with Brightspace

Read About Gluten and Lactose


Read the vocabulary terms to understand the reading better.

Calcium is a mineral found mainly in the hard part of bones.

Carbohydrates are a group of organic compounds that are produced by plants and include sugars, starches, celluloses, and gums and serve as a main energy source for animals.

Celiac disease is a disease in which a person’s intestines are unable to tolerate a food protein called gluten, and that protein causes severe symptoms such as pain, gas, weight loss, and diarrhea.

Fats are various soft, solid, or semi-solid compounds that are widely found in organic tissues, especially in the fatty tissues of animals, seeds, nuts, and fruits.

Fibre is thick cell walls that support plants and can’t be broken down during digestion.

Gluten is a mix of proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley that gives dough an elastic texture and helps baked goods hold their shape.

Lactose is a type of sugar that is naturally found in milk and other dairy products.

Lactose intolerant means to be unable to fully digest the sugar (lactose) that is naturally found in milk and other dairy products.

Proteins are nutrients naturally found in foods that help the body build, take care of, and replace tissues.

Gluten and Lactose

Your digestive system has two main jobs:

  • to turn the food you eat into nutrients your body needs

  • to get rid of waste from food that your body does not need

Nutrients that you need are fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fibre. A balanced diet will give your body all of the nutrients it needs to keep you healthy and growing.

Sometimes the body does not work the way it should. This can happen when certain foods contain proteins or sugars that some people’s bodies cannot digest.


Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Some people’s bodies react negatively to that protein and they develop celiac disease. When they eat food with gluten, a reaction happens in their small intestines or gut. This reaction damages the small intestine so it cannot take in nutrients from any food to the rest of the body.

People with celiac disease may have stomach aches and diarrhea. They may not want to eat and could lose weight. They may not grow the way they should. They could get a skin rash, too. These symptoms may come and go, depending on what they eat.

The best way for people to find out if they have celiac disease is to see a doctor. The good thing is that the disease can usually be controlled by not eating foods that contain gluten. Today there are many gluten-free products, and almost anything can be made without gluten by using a little imagination.

To learn more about gluten and celiac disease, watch the video by DrSmarty on Youtube.


Lactose is a type of natural sugar found in milk and other dairy products. Some people are lactose intolerant. This means their small intestines do not break down the lactose enough. When this undigested lactose moves into the large intestine, it can cause gas, pain or cramps, diarrhea, and throwing up. The best way for people to find out if they are lactose intolerant is to see a doctor.

Some people who are lactose intolerant cannot have any dairy products. Others can drink or eat small amounts without any problems. Like with celiac disease, the best thing to do is to not eat or drink any products that contain lactose.

Getting enough calcium can be a problem for young people who are lactose intolerant. But some lactose-free products contain calcium. Other foods that have calcium include broccoli, kale, salmon, almonds, fortified orange juice, and tofu.

Now Show What You Know!

Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.