Gluten free Diet

Gluten Free Diet

The latest dietary ingredient to avoid is gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. It causes some people serious health problems. But those people don't seem to be the only ones buying the gluten-free beer and brownies suddenly for sale everywhere.

One answer is that true gluten intolerance, once thought rare, is getting overdue attention. In 2003, just 40,000 Americans had been diagnosed with celiac disease; today, it's 110,000 and, if everyone with the disease were diagnosed, the number could be as high as 3 million, by research data.

Gluten Free Diet - A gluten-free diet is recommended amongst other things in the treatment of celiac disease and wheat allergy. It is a diet free of ingredients derived from gluten containing cereals: wheat which includes kamut and spelt, barley, rye, and triticale, as well as the use of gluten as a food additive, which can be in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening compound. Additionally, the diet may exclude oats. Some people for whom the diet is recommended can tolerate oat products and some medical practitioners say they may be permitted, but there is controversy about including them in a gluten-free diet because studies on the subject are incomplete.

Gluten Free Food

Although gluten is commonly associated with wheat, not all wheat products contain gluten. For instance highly processed wheat glucose has been found to contain no detectable gluten.

Several grains and starch sources are considered acceptable for a diet free of gluten. The most frequently used are maize, potatoes, rice, and tapioca. Other grains and starch sources generally considered suitable for gluten free diets include amaranth, arrowroot, millet, montina, lupine, quinoa, sorghum, sweet potato, taro, chia seed, and yam.

Various types of bean, soybean, and nut flours are sometimes used in gluten free products to add protein and dietary fiber. Buckwheat is not related to wheat; pure buckwheat is considered acceptable for a gluten-free diet, although many commercial buckwheat products are actually mixtures of wheat and buckwheat flours, and thus not acceptable. Gram flour, derived from chickpeas, is also gluten-free.

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