What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in many cereal grains, principally wheat, barley, rye and to a lesser degree oats. Gluten-free oats can be digested by some celiacs, but not all.
What does gluten do to the body?
When a person with celiac disease eats foods or products that contain gluten, it triggers an autoimmune reaction in which the intestines are damaged and nutrients cannot be absorbed for use by the body.
What does being on a gluten-free diet mean?
Being on a gluten-free diet simply means the ability to enjoy protein, vegetables and fruit. Today, being on a gluten-free diet affords a person a wider selection of choices for cereal, breads and sweets. However, often these products are made with excess white sugar and rice flour, with no nutritional value. Reading labels is essential.
I don’t have any food allergies. Why should I eat gluten free?
Medical experts largely agree that there is a condition related to gluten other than celiac. The medical term for this malady: non-celiac gluten sensitivity. It is less a diagnosis than a description – someone whose health improves on a gluten-free diet and worsens again if gluten is eaten.