Why Gluten Free?

Print Friendly

Gluten FreeHave you just figured out that you are allergic to gluten? Are your friends and family trying to figure out what to feed you when they invite you over?  Were you diagnosed with Celiac disease and are not sure where to start?  Well let’s start with a few definitions:

What is gluten?

Gluten is protein found in wheat, kamut, spelt, barley, rye, malt, triticale, and potentially oats.  I’ve linked to a few Wikipedia entries here, in case you aren’t sure what some of these things are – I know I hadn’t heard of several of these!  Unfortunately, as you may have figured out gluten is also used as a binding product in a lot recipes and hidden in a lot of things like soy sauce and BBQ sauce.

 

What about Celiac Disease?

According to WebMD, Celiac Disease is “when gluten actually triggers the body’s immune system. When people with celiac disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the villi — tiny, fingerlike projections in the small intestine that absorb the nutrients from food. For this reason it’s considered an autoimmune disease.”

 

Why Gluten-Free?

Going gluten free is the only way to “treat” Celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or wheat allergies.

In 2003, the results of a large, multi-center study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found celiac disease in one in 133 Americans.

One in 133!  That is mind blowing.  Mind you that is just people who have been diagnosed with Celiac disease, it doesn’t touch on people who have gluten intolerance, a wheat allergy, or people who have never been tested.  The good thing about that statistic is that you now know you are not alone.  There are a lot of resources out there to help you figure out what to do.

A great resource that I used when I first figured out I had problems with gluten, is celiac.com.  They have a plethora of information about celiac disease, how it can be diagnosed, and a great forum to ask questions on as well.

 

gluten free foodGlutenfree.com is a great place to buy food and to provide more options than Trader Joe’s or your local grocery store.  That is an affiliate link, by the way, but it is a great way to add variety into your diet.

 

 

And, of course, we are here to help too.  That is why we created this site  – to help you and your friends and family with food ideas to manage your gluten-free dietary needs!