Who is Eating Gluten-Free and Why?
You can’t turn on the television, read a paper, or surf online these days without seeing the terms “gluten” and “gluten-free”. But what exactly is gluten and why are so many people avoiding it? Gluten is the collective term for the proteins found in the grains wheat, rye and barley and their various forms. It is best known for giving baked goods their doughy, elastic structure, however many foods contain gluten for other purposes, including as a thickening agent or flavor enhancer.
The effects of gluten are not the same for everyone. While the vast majority of americans consume gluten and experience no side effects, some must avoid gluten due to specific medical conditions.
For more information about gluten and the gluten-free diet, download our new Gluten Fact Sheet!