What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale that helps give shape and elasticity to food, and traps carbon dioxide during the fermenting process of bread-making that helps the dough rise.
Why do some people have to avoid it?
For those suffering from celiac disease - an autoimmune disorder - ingestion of gluten is dangerous because their immune system mistakes the gluten for a bacteria or virus and proceeds to attack it, thereby attacking the small intestine.
The list of symptoms associated with celiac disease or gluten-intolerance is long, but there are a few suggestive signs that could possibly indicate you are suffering:
For children, issues with digestion could be indications of celiac disease.
In adults, issues such as bone pain, anxiety, anemia, and even migraines are possible indicators.
The only treatment for celiac disease that has been conclusively deemed effective at this time is a completely gluten-free diet. Though there are studies devoted to finding simpler testing methods and, perhaps, even hopes for a vaccine or alternative treatment in the future, for now, gluten-avoidance is still the only option.
NOTE: Before concluding that you or your child suffer from celiac disease and deciding to change to a gluten-free diet, it is VERY important that you consult a physician and consider being tested. Any drastic change to your diet can put you at risk for malnutrition.
Gluten containing foods:
Most pastas, bread, baked goods, crackers, cereals, salad dressings, sauces such as gravy, flour tortillas, and beer typically include gluten. While specialty, gluten-free products are now becoming more widely available, there are still many limitations for a gluten-free diet.
Naturally gluten-free foods:
Luckily, though, there are also some really great foods that are gluten-free by nature! Fruits, vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood, dairy, beans, nuts, rice, corn, potatoes, some vinegars like apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, wine and balsamic vinegars, and grains such as quinoa and millet are GLUTEN-FREE! And, guess what? All of our Organico Bello pasta sauces are gluten-free, too!
So, during the month of November - gluten-free diet awareness month - we would like to show support and solidarity for those who have to avoid gluten. In order to do so, we're going to be sharing recipes that can fit a gluten-free diet with ease!
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