Pizza, cookies, cakes, and pasta all contain one common ingredient – gluten.
Meaning “glue” in Latin, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.
The protein helps to bind breads, pasta, and desserts to create a denser product. Recently, the gluten avoidance phenomenon has become increasingly popular.
However, avoiding gluten has become absolutely necessary for many.
In the past few decades, more people have begun to notice that consuming bread products which contain gluten have been related to gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, stomach pains, diarrhea, and – in more severe cases – vomiting and progressive weight loss. Medical professionals discovered this is sometimes due to an autoimmune condition known as celiac disease. Upon consumption of gluten, those with celiac disease experience a progressive deterioration of the villi, or hair-like projections, within the small intestine. Villi help to absorb vitamins and nutrients to nourish our bodies and sustain energy for our everyday activities. When these villi begin to flatten as a result of gluten consumption, malabsorption can occur – causing anemia, irritability, weight loss, stomach pains, and other gastrointestinal complications. Although there is no cure for celiac disease, one may adhere to a gluten-free diet to slowly reverse damage to the small intestine. A gluten-free diet eliminates all forms of barley, wheat, and rye – even in the smallest amounts.
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with a Gluten sensitivity or allergy, or even Celiacs, now what? Educate yourself! I’ve put together a quick, easy to understand, printable guide to help you as you navigate through keeping you and/or your loved ones safe. Welcome to Gluten Free 101.