Why going gluten-free doesn't mean going grain-free
(BPT) - It’s impossible to stroll the aisles in your local supermarket without seeing package after package labeled “gluten-free.” But who really needs a gluten-free diet, and how can you still enjoy grains, even if you are eating gluten-free?
Gluten is a protein found in just four grains: wheat, barley, rye and triticale, a wheat-rye hybrid. For people with celiac disease (an estimated 1 percent of the population) eating foods containing gluten can cause an immune reaction in the small intestine that leads to a host of health problems, from abdominal pain to vitamin deficiencies that can affect the brain, bones, liver and other organs. Some people who don’t have celiac disease still suffer from gluten-sensitivity or allergies to wheat, and can benefit from a gluten-free diet.
No matter the reason behind going gluten-free, for those making the switch it might seem like the end of eating grains. However, that shouldn’t to be the case. While cutting out gluten-containing grains is important for those who are gluten-intolerant, there’s an array of other whole grains – naturally gluten-free – that can make your diet as varied, delicious and nutritious as you like.
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