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What is Gluten and Why Go Without?

According to the ever-trusty online source that is Wikipedia, gluten is “a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye. It gives elasticity to dough, helping it to rise and to keep its shape, and often gives the final product a chewy texture.”

So, basically, it’s the yummy stuff you’re used to eating in all that pasta and pizza and all these pastry products.

It’s also sneaky, because gluten (usually in the form of just a little bit of wheat flour) is found in the unlikeliest of places.

Seriously.

I’ve gone shopping and picked up stuff that says “buckwheat pasta” only to discover it’s still 60% wheat.

Or soy sauce. That was a sad discovery.

So, unless it says GLUTEN-FREE in big bold letters on the packaging, it’s still a good idea to read the fine print.

Unless you’re buying fruits or veggies… then you’re most likely safe. 😉

This blog operates with the knowledge that gluten is found in wheat (including spelt), rye and barely products.

I’m considering oat products (manufactured without cross-contamination) safe.

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People don’t eat gluten for all sorts of reasons. There are the “fad” diets that have painted gluten as the new bad guy of a healthy diet.

Cutting gluten out because of a fad diet or in the hopes of losing weight is probably not a good idea as wholemeal wheat and spelt and barley are most likely healthier choices than a lot of regular gluten free alternatives.

However, if it’s health reasons — be it celiac disease, gluten intolerance or sensitivity — then it’s a must.

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