Gluten Free Fundamentals

Have you ever heard someone mention the words “gluten free”? Or maybe you’ve seen it on a food label? Or maybe, you even eat gluten free! Whatever your familiarity, today we are going to take a deeper look at what gluten is, what gluten intolerance is, and some great alternatives to gluten based products. Read on to find out more!

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein that is found in most cereal grains like wheat, rye, barley, and more. Foods that include gluten are bread, pasta, crackers, and baked goods. Gluten is a structural protein, and it helps foods to keep their shape. However, not everyone can digest it. While some people choose not to eat gluten due to preference, many stay away from it due to a condition called Celiac disease.

What is Celiac?

Celiac disease causes the body to have an immune reaction to gluten. This can cause painful symptoms like bloating or diarrhea, because the body is trying to fight off the protein. Over time, this immune response causes inflammation that damages the villi, or walls of the small intestine, which causes issues with nutrient absorption. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies that can have an extremely negative impact on a person’s health. For this reason, it is important that people with celiac avoid consuming gluten. The good news is, there are many companies that specifically market to gluten free eaters, creating tasty alternatives to your favorite gluten based products! Check out the examples below next time you’re shopping!

Gluten Free Products

  • Banza Pasta (made from chickpeas!)
  • Abe’s Muffins (vegan and gluten free)
  • Simple Mills almond crackers
  • Against the Grain breads