It seems that gluten-free dieting is all the rage nowadays. Everywhere you look there's signs and advertisements from food manufacturers proudly displaying their gluten-free products. Health food stores actually have entire sections dedicated to gluten-free items. So what's going on? What's all the hoopla about and is it pertinent to you?
Gluten is the main structural protein found in wheat and other cereal grains such as rye and barley. It can cause serious health related complications for some when consumed in the diet. Oats have also been debated to be in this category of potentially harmful foods although there is still much controversy surrounding this in the scientific community. I'll have more information on this later on.
Currently there are three known types of gluten-related disorders—wheat allergy, celiac disease, and gluten sensitivity. They are all distinctly different yet share some of the same characteristics of one another. None of them are as highly prevalent in the general population as the manufacturers of gluten-free food products would like you to believe. As a result, many people are likely adhering to a gluten-free diet without any specific medical or scientific reason to do so. While gluten may be toxic for some it can be part of a healthy diet for a majority of the population.
Here's a closer look at the three different gluten-related disorders: