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Gluten Info

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Gluten Info

If you want to learn more about gluten intolerance or celiac disease, and why more people are choosing gluten free bars and other gluten free foods, read this important information below:

WHAT IS GLUTEN? 


Gluten is a combination of two proteins, gliadin and glutenin, that comprise about 80% of the protein in a wheat seed. There is protein stored within the seeds of most flowering plants, but true gluten is contained only in certain grasses, such as wheat, rye, barley, semolina, and bulgar. Wheat is a major component of the world's diet because of its nutritional protein.  Gluten doesn't just add protein, it also gives kneaded bread dough its elasticity and contributes to leavening and the chewiness that makes baked wheat products so desirable.



GLUTEN REACTIONS

You might be wondering why anybody would want gluten out of their diet. Well, some people have a gluten intolerance, and some people are even terribly allergic to it. There is a difference between an intolerance and an allergy. An intolerance to a certain food does not involve the immune system. It's generally not life threatening but can still cause headaches, gut problems, and skin conditions. But if someone has a food allergy, the body's immune system believes the food is harmful and therefore produces antibodies to fight the food allergen. In turn, histamines and chemicals are then produced by the body and cause allergic reactions. If someone is allergic to gluten they have celiac disease. It is an inherited auto-immune disorder where the gluten reacts with the small intestine and activates the immune system to attack the lining of the bowel. The body then starts to lose its ability to absorb nutrients and minerals, resulting in a number of maladies. Symptoms can range from headaches, fatigue and stomach pain, to severe migraines, osteoporosis, type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, infertility, neurological problems and even cancer. Because of these conditions, it can be very hard to diagnosis the primary cause. Fortunately, a blood test has been developed that can tell if the gluten fighting antibodies are present. This may not always be conclusive though and other testing may be necessary for an accurate determination. It is estimated that almost 3 million Americans have celiac disease.  Unfortunately, only a fraction have been diagnosed. So consult with your physician to see if you should be tested. The earlier you are diagnosed, the better. If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, the good news is that the treatment consists of eating a gluten free diet.



GOING GLUTEN FREE

Giving up wheat and other gluten grains is not the end of the world. Some alternatives to gluten containing grains are quinoa, sorghum, teff, amaranth, brown rice and millet flours. Corn and oats may be eaten too, if no cross contamination has taken place during processing.  Note: Both corn and rice contain proteins but they are different because they do not contain gliadin. Thankfully, the choices of prepared foods that are gluten free is increasing. Some food labels state that they are gluten free, but with others, diligence is needed in reading the ingredients. Just because something is wheat free doesn't necessarily mean it is gluten free.  And since gluten can be extracted it may show up in foods you wouldn't suspect. It can be used in foods like ketchup and ice cream as a stabilizer. Beware of derivatives like malt that comes from barley. If in doubt, call the manufacturer. The Internet is an extensive source of information and resources, including lists of foods that can be eaten and those to avoid.  If you've made it to this page though, you already know that Do More Bars are gluten free bars that won't make you feel like you've given anything up.