The Gluten-Free Craze

Gluten-free foods have become increasingly popular over the past few years, with many people discovering a gluten intolerance, or dedicating themselves to a gluten-free lifestyle.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and other grains. It gives dough its elasticity and lends a chewy texture to breads and other grain-based foods. Many foods have gluten additives to help thicken and flavor, often listed as “dextrin” on the nutrition label. This additive can be found in everything from ice cream to ketchup.

People who are gluten-intolerant cannot process this protein and experience severe intestinal complications from ingesting gluten. As gluten is found in many foods and beverages, maintaining a gluten-free diet can be challenging.

However, there are many benefits to a gluten-free lifestyle as well. People who adhere to a gluten-free diet, such as actress Gwenyth Paltrow, claim to feel more energetic and alert after making the switch. Some correlations have also been made between a gluten-free diet and weight loss – most likely because of lower carbohydrate consumption.

If you’re interested in making the switch, keep the following tips and resources in mind.

Keep an eye out for additives such as “dextrin,” and avoid imitation meats, which are often made with gluten. The USDA does not currently require companies to list gluten as an ingredient, so the best method to ensure that you avoid it is to eat whole, fresh foods. Foods also clearly labeled as gluten-free are safe to consume.

Some great gluten-free options include…

  • Corn.
  • Potatoes.
  • Rice.
  • Tapioca.
  • Quinoa.
  • Yams.

Interested in learning more about going gluten-free? Check out these resources:

Mayo Clinic

Gluten Free Girl

Have you made the switch to gluten-free? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below!