You’ve probably been noticing the many items we carry at the store which are Gluten-Free. There’s been a lot of talk about gluten lately. You may want to know what gluten is and why some people want to be free from it.
Gluten is that sticky, binding substance that gives breads and pastas their elasticity and texture. The gluten in flour makes it ideal for baking because the chainlike protein molecules of the gluten trap carbon dioxide and expand with it as it is heated.
As you might expect, breads and other everyday foods like pizza, cookies, muffins, and bagels contain gluten, but so do a number of other items that may really surprise you. Because gluten is an all-purpose stabilizer and thickener, manufacturers add it to a wide range of consumer products. Medications, marinades, condiments, coffees, packaged spices, postage stamp adhesive, envelope seals, lipstick, hairsprays, and even your daily multivitamin can all contain gluten as well.
Why the big push to eat gluten-free? Many people have Celiac disease, which is a digestive disorder characterized by a toxic reaction to gluten, the protein found in certain grains. Celiac disease is hereditary, meaning it’s in your gene pool; chronic, meaning it won’t ever go away; and autoimmune, meaning it causes the body to attack itself.
It’s important to remember that celiac disease is NOT a food allergy, and you can’t pop pills to “cure” it. The only known treatment is a gluten-free diet for life.
So if you want or need to eat gluten-free, talk to one of our employees in the food department. They can help you find the right items to keep you healthy and pain-free.