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For those you that are new to the gluten free world I wanted to help answer some of the common questions.
Gluten Free Basics –
1.6 million are gluten-free for reasons ranging from celiac disease, gluten intolerance or a healthier life style.
Gluten is a part of the protein in wheat that, when baked, gives the products a good structure and texture. Medical conditions relating to gluten remain the Number 1 most under diagnosed conditions in the US. The sudden increase in the number of people affected by the conditions is directly related to the amount of processed wheat products in our diets like pasta and baked goods that are made with ingredients that have higher levels of gluten. Celiac Disease causes an individual to have damage in the small intestine and can cause a large number of symptoms including abdominal pain, weight loss, fatigue, rashes, headaches, reproductive issues, irritability, anemia and much more. A more minor form of the conditions which is also rapidly being diagnoses is called gluten intolerance where the symptoms maybe similar but the overall effects are less severe. When gluten is removed from the diet, the small intestine will start to heal and overall health improves.
- Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, malts and triticale. It is used as a food additive in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent, often as “dextrin”
- Gluten is found in many foods that most people don’t realize. These include soy sauce, many sauces and soups, granola, some oatmeal, beer, meatballs, most processed meats, sausage, malt vinegar, twizzlers, salad dressing, baked beans, blue cheese, communion wafers, some medications and the list goes on.
Unlike a few years ago, the gluten free resources are growing every day. Great products are easy to find in stores and on-line. Restaurants are learning how to adapt many items and are quickly learning safe prep procedures. With the Internet its become really easy to locate anything gluten free.
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