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The Healthy Dish

Living Gluten Free

Gluten has received a tremendous amount of media hype lately due to trendy gluten-free diets and gluten-free products on the market. Lately, it seems as though everyone, everywhere is trying to avoid it. But some avoid it due to celiac disease, a digestive disorder that causes an autoimmune response to gluten.

Gluten is in everything. It’s not just in your wheat bread or barley soup. It can be found in your soy sauce, cereal and even salad dressings. Gluten is used as an all-purpose stabilizer and thickener in many foods. It is also found in some beauty products, medications and vitamins. Gluten is a sneaky ingredient and can disguise itself with other names to fool the consumer.

What is gluten and how can you avoid it? Gluten can be found in wheat, barley, rye, and derivatives of these grains, such as faro, kamut and spelt. Oats do not contain gluten, but some people with celiac disease can have a reaction to oats, so it’s best to buy “gluten-free oats.”

If you’re eliminating gluten from your diet, you can still eat fresh fruits, vegetables, quinoa, brown and teff rice, organic non-GMO corn, legumes, nuts and seeds, potatoes, coconut flour, buckwheat, and other grains such as millet and sorghum.

If you feel that you have a gluten intolerance or celiac disease, find a medical doctor who can perform the appropriate tests to diagnose the condition.