You may have noticed the gluten-free trend of late; but, to the millions of people who suffer with Celiac Disease; being gluten free is life sustaining. But, what exactly is gluten and how can this pesky little protein cause so many problems?
Gluten is a protein that comes primarily from wheat, barley and rye. Those who are allergic or intolerant to gluten typically notice it through stomach pain, bloating, swollen joints and fatigue. About 1 in 133 people suffer from Celiac Disease. In a Celiac, eating gluten can go so far as to cause panic attacks, depression, vomiting and malnourishment from the destroyed villi in the intestines. (www.celiaccentral.org)
“Sadly, this tsunami of chronic illness is increasingly caused by eating our beloved diet staple, bread, the staff of life and all the wheat products hidden in everything from soups to vodka to lipstick and envelope adhesive,” says Dr. Mark Hyman, founder of the UltraWellness Center. (www.ultrawellnesscenter.com)
Foods that are naturally gluten free include: fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, and dairy. Rice, beans, oils, nuts, seeds,sugar and honey also lack the protein. However, there are foods that contain gluten that we would never even consider.
If you know someone with Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity; be supportive and understanding. Their life depends on it!
“Living Well…one healthy step at a time”
Many soy sauces have wheat in the mix. Make sure that the brand you buy is gluten-free. A tasty, gluten-free alternative is tamari sauce.
Pickles- Check to confirm that your favorite pickle (dill or sweet) is not processed in malt vinegar. Malt vinegar is a product made from barley; which is also found in beer.
Hot Dogs- Certain hot dogs and sausages may contain the preservative; wheat gluten. Many brands now are listing “gluten-free” on the label. So, make sure that you double check labels and compare brands.
Licorice – This chewy, childhood (and grown folk) favorite often lists wheat flour as one of the first few ingredients. Read your labels and learn how to recognize hidden gluten sources.
Veggie Burgers- You would never stop to think that this healthy meat alternative may contain gluten! Some veggie burgers contain wheat gluten to give them a “meaty” texture.
Salad Dressing- Look for “modified food starch”, “wheat gluten” and “xantham gum” on the labels of your favorite salad dressings.
flavored potato chips
Flavored Potato Chips – Certain brands get their taste from processed flavorings containing wheat, barley and rye. Kettle chips are a favorite type of potato chip that are gluten free.