What Is Gluten?
There has been a lot of buzz going on about gluten, but do you really know what it is, why it is bad for some people and if you could be one of them? We’ll try to clear up some of the confusion and tell you everything you need to know about gluten.
Gluten is the major protein found in certain grains such as wheat, barley and rye. It basically gives bread elasticity and strength.
What Foods Contain It?
If you thought all you had to do was avoid bread and you were fine, you are wrong. True, gluten is found in wheat, but you would be surprised how many things that wheat is used in. Also, gluten is found in the grains rye, barley, semolina, durum, faro, graham, spelt, einkorn and kamut. So here are some basic things to watch out for if you have Celiac disease or are gluten intolerant:
- sauces and gravy (usually thickened with wheat flour);
- imitation bacon;
- processed lunch meat (fillers can be wheat based).
Basically read the labels for gluten free or to make sure they don’t contain any of the above listed grains.
What Foods Can You Eat?
By now you are probably thinking you are going to starve if you can’t eat gluten. Well, lucky for you since gluten has become such a big deal you can find tons of foods that are gluten free nowadays. Here are several grains that don’t contain gluten that are often used to make breads and other foods that usually use wheat: rice, corn, soy, potato, tapioca, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, flax and nut flours. Of course you can also eat plenty of fresh vegetables, meats, eggs, etc that have nothing to do with gluten.