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Is "Gluten-Free" Just a Diet Fad?

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Although being “gluten-free” is a recent diet fad for some, being gluten-free is more than a lifestyle choice. Many people have a gluten allergy; having a gluten intolerance means you are unable to eat consume wheat, and food products containing wheat. A medically accepted reason to become “gluten-free” is when diagnosed with celiac disease.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat and other various grains. Gluten gives dough its elasticity, making it rise and giving it its final texture.

What Products Contain Gluten?

Besides its well-known properties in wheat, gluten is also commonly found in Barley and Rye bread. Less known foods containing gluten include imitation meats, and beer. Gluten is also used as a thickening agent in various products, including ice cream.

What Products are Gluten Free?

Commonly used replacements for gluten-like products include corn, potatoes, and rice. The gluten-free diet also allows for fruits, vegetables, and most meat products.

Labeling Gluten-Free

In the United States, the FDA created a regulation requiring foods labeled “Gluten-Free” to have less than 20 parts per million of gluten. Many “gluten-free” foods are not completely rid of the component, but decreased to an insignificant and harmless level.

Caution

While there are various reasons in becoming gluten-free, those with intolerant diseases and allergies should not consume more than the recommended amount by their doctor. Research should be done to ensure the products you are consuming are actually “gluten-free,” as it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to label it as such.

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