What Is Gluten?
Many people today have heard of the gluten-free diet, but not everyone knows exactly what gluten is. Some mistakenly believe that it is a food additive or a chemical, but gluten is actually a naturally occurring nutrient. Gluten is a protein found in a variety of grains, including wheat, barley and rye. For the average person, these foods can play an important dietary role as a source of complex carbohydrates that the body uses for energy.
Going Gluten Free
People with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (also referred to as gluten intolerance) can experience a variety of unpleasant symptoms when they eat foods containing gluten. Some symptoms of these conditions include nausea, diarrhea and stomach cramps that develop after consuming foods that contain gluten.
Should I Eat Gluten Free?
If you believe that you may suffer from a gluten-related condition, it is important that you see a doctor for a diagnosis. If your doctor determines your symptoms are caused by gluten, you should begin on a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free diets are typically not recommended for people who do not suffer from gluten-related digestive or health problems. Check with your doctor before going gluten-free on your own.
Delicious Snacks and Treats
Many of the foods that are quick and easy to enjoy as snacks contain gluten and need to be avoided on a gluten-free diet. That doesn't mean that you have to go hungry between meals to stick to your doctor-recommended eating plan. There are a number of tasty gluten-free snacks available on the market that you can take with you on the go or eat at home. You can even find gluten-free cookies that you can enjoy as treats and gluten-free baking mixes for preparing baked goods at home.
Preparing Gluten-Free Meals
Avoiding gluten at mealtime is easy when you purchase foods that you know are gluten-free. Gluten-free meals that are simple to make are available for lunch and dinner, and gluten-free pancake mixes, cereals and other popular foods are available for breakfast.back to top »