With a robust market for gluten-free markets continuing to grow let’s talk about some basic facts about Celiac disease for newbies and vets alike. Some of the basics such as:
What is gluten?-Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley, rye and related wheat species such as spelt and kamut. It helps baked goods keep their chewy form and texture and is also added to other food items more and more, both for consistency and taste purposes. Although called buckwheat, contrary to its name is not actually wheat and does not contain gluten.
Who gets gluten intolerance?
The short answer is: anyone. Some people are more predisposed to have this disease or intolerance than others, especially if a family member has been diagnosed because it can be genetic. It has been shown that northern European countries, specifically Nordic countries, as well as Italy and Ireland have a higher rate of Celiac disease presumably because of diet, and approximately 1 out of every 133 Americans have Celiac disease. Learn more here.
There is a lot of obvious gluten containing products including all regular breads, pastas, cookies, cakes, pastries and anything and everything with a flour base. There are however a lot of hidden sources of gluten are abundant in many packaged goods from soy sauce to spice mixes, to breath mints. More and more companies are voluntarily labeling their products as gluten-free and some even go through a gluten-free certification process. A short list is:
•Gravy and gravy powder
•Brown rice syrup
•Oats (while naturally gluten free, there is a risk of contamination through harvesting, milling, and processing)
Check out more about this list here.