Grass Roots Nutrition: Gluten

Grass Roots Nutrition: Gluten

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Dear Holly: What is gluten? Should I be avoiding it? -Goodness Grains!


Dear Goodness Grains:Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Gluten gives structure to baked goods making it the backbone for traditional baking and a common thickener and emulsifier in sauces, gravies and spice blends.


Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity (aka gluten intolerance) both require an elimination of gluten from the diet, but are not the same condition.


Celiac disease is a genetically based autoimmune disease that an estimated 1 in 133 Americans have. The symptoms may include diarrhea, anemia, weight loss or growth failure. They can also include constipation and abdominal pain, fatigue, infertility, headache or fatigue. You can even have celiac disease with no symptoms!


83% of people with celiac disease are either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. When a person with celiac disease eats gluten, it sets off an immune reaction that damages the the intestine and interferes with the absorption of nutrients. There is no pharmaceutical cure for celiac disease. The only treatment is a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet.


Celiac disease was once thought of as a childhood ailment. It is now known that the condition affects men and women of all ages and races, and can develop at any time.


If following a gluten free diet, it is important to still include carbohydrates as a part of your healthy eating plan. While gluten is found in many carbohydrate choices, healthy eating does not mean carbohydrate free. GF choices include potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, peas and beans. Oats may be permitted if they’re processed in a facility that does not process wheat.


The abundance of gluten free choices in the grocery store and in restaurants makes life easier for those requiring gluten-free choices. It does not indicate that everyone needs to comply.


Visit for more information. May is celiac awareness month.


Ready for a Real Food Wellness Challenge? Start the month with 21 Days of Real Food! Click to enroll in the challenge; we launch the 1st of each month.


What’s your question for Holly? Send them to For more information and to make an appointment to work on your goals, visit Grass Roots Nutrition, LLC and BrideBod, owned by me, Holly Larson, a Registered Dietitian. Visit me online at and follow us on Facebook. Have a delicious, healthy day!