Gluten Free : Understanding the Latest Trend

Gluten Free "Gluten Free" seems like the new catchphrase in dieting. In the last two or three years, a gluten free craze has swept the nation. While the diet is gaining serious steam, the entire concept can seem complex...

Gluten Free
Gluten Free

"Gluten Free" seems like the new catchphrase in dieting. In the last two or three years, a gluten free craze has swept the nation. While the diet is gaining serious steam, the entire concept can seem complex and confusing. Gluten free eating, however, is actually fairly simple and straightforward.

A gluten free diet is a diet that completely prohibits the ingestion of gluten. Gluten is a protein composite that is found in wheat and other grains. Gluten free diets, therefore, prohibit eating anything that contains the protein. Anything made with wheat is off-limits, as is food items containing rye, barley and triticale (a wheat/rye hybrid grain). Some people who eat gluten free also avoid oats. Oats do not contain gluten on their own, but often times they are processed in the same facilities as wheat and can become cross-contaminated. Processed foods, beer and many sauces also contain gluten components.

The majority of people on a gluten free diet suffer from Celiac disease, or have a gluten intolerance. Celiac's is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation to the intestines when gluten is ingested. A gluten intolerance, on the other hand, is similar to an allergy. A person who is intolerant to gluten may have stomach issues, or skin issues when they eat anything containing gluten.

While the majority of people on a gluten free diet medically require it, the concept of gluten free has hit the mainstream media, and has become popular with dieters who can eat gluten without issue. Gluten free eating lends itself well to individuals looking to lose weight through dieting, because the majority of processed food contains gluten. By removing gluten from the diet, most find that they are removing all processed foods and shed weight rather easily.  In recent years, however, a variety of gluten free snack foods and prepared foods have also become available.

Whether or not gluten free is a diet fad that is here to stay remains to be seen. What is known, however, is that gluten free eating is required for a small portion of the population.

If you have experience eating gluten free contact us with your story.