What is a gluten free diet?
A gluten free diet that is diet free of the protein gluten.
What is gluten? And why would one want to be free of it?
Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and its grain relatives, barley and rye. Gluten is the compound that gives breads and baked goods their elastic quality, which gives way to a shapely end product and a chewy texture. Think chocolate chip cookies.
What foods specifically would contain gluten in a diet?
Some foods that traditionally contain gluten include: Pasta, couscous, bread, tortillas, cookies, cakes, muffins, pastries, pizza, cereal, crackers, beer, oats, gravy, dressings, and sauces.
Luckily, many of these foods may be prepared gluten free.
Wait, there is more. Traces of gluten can also show up in foods that may not obviously strike you as containing gluten. These foods include soy sauce, ice cream, ketchup, broths, lunch meats, imitation meats, salad dressings, and more.
Because gluten sneaks its way into a lot of foods and products, it’s super important for gluten free enthusiasts to be adamant about reading label ingredients and additives.
So, who are these gluten free enthusiasts anyways?
Some people opt to go gluten free by choice. Why would someone give up on all the gluten goods? Well, there are benefits of a gluten free diet – benefits we’ll explore another time. For others, however, a gluten free lifestyle is unavoidable. Some people must strictly and indefinitely go gluten free.
These people have a sensitivity to gluten resulting from either Celiac Disease, a wheat allergy or a general gluten sensitivity (also known as gluten intolerance). Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disease of the small intestine, is caused by a reaction to gliadin (a gluten protein) found in wheat. A wheat allergy, very different from Celiac Disease, is a rare food allergy (also presenting as a contact allergy) that surfaces upon ingestion of wheat. Those who have tested negative for Celiac Disease but experience symptoms similar to those with Celiac Disease (but lack the intestinal damage) find they just feel better on a gluten free diet. Those diagnosed with either Celiac Disease, wheat allergy or gluten sensitivity, must steer clear of gluten-containing foods and products. In a nutshell, all of these groups are gluten intolerant.
So, what can gluten intolerant people eat?
They are obviously free to enjoy any and all foods that don’t naturally contain gluten. And fortunately, in the last decade, increased awareness of these sensitivities has come to light. Many gluten free alternatives to traditional, gluten-containing foods are now offered due to a strong and growing demand for gluten free items. Gluten free restaurants, cafes, liquor companies, bakeries, and more have opened shop. Finding gluten free options isn’t really the problem.
Oh, so there’s a problem?
Well, yes. The problem for those with gluten intolerances – those who must abide by a strict gluten free diet – is gluten cross contamination. Preventing a gluten cross-contamination scare and an impending gluten attack is tricky business.
That’s where Gluten Free Labels comes in! These bright orange, dishwasher safe labels, flags and tags provide an added layer of protection for gluten free foods. Use Gluten Free Labels to prevent cross-contamination and to safeguard the integrity of your gluten free kitchen. From cookware to utensils, appliances to storage containers, drawers to cabinets, virtually everything in your kitchen can be protected with Gluten Free Labels. Get your starter kit today and put the freedom back in gluten free eating!
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