What is gluten?

Gluten (from Latin gluten, “glue“) is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye. Gluten gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep its shape and often gives the final product a chewy texture.

Why Gluten Free?

A gluten-free diet excludes the protein gluten, found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. A 100% gluten-free lifestyle is considered absolutely necessary for people with gluten intolerance, also known as Celiac Disease, because they suffer an immune reaction every time they eat foods containing gluten; if they continue to consume foods containing gluten, studies have shown their chance of gastrointestinal cancer may be elevated 40 to 100 times compared to the general population (www.celiac.com).

Symptoms of gluten intolerance can range from mild to severe, including weakness, bone pain, chronic diarrhea, abdominal bloating, and weight loss. It’s currently estimated that 1 in 133 Americans are impacted by this condition.

If you follow a gluten-free diet, it’s important to take notice of your overall nutrition. People who follow a gluten-free diet may have lower than recommended levels of certain vitamins and minerals in their diets, because many grains contain or are enriched with nutrients we need. Ask your Doctor to review your diet to see if you are getting enough of the recommended daily vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/gluten-free-diet/MY01140).