The foods we eat are made up of a variety of proteins, nutrients, and fats. Gluten is a common composite found in wheat and other grains, such as barley and rye. Gluten gives our food shape, as well as a chewy and crunchy taste. Unfortunately, not all humans are able to consume without adverse effects. Those who must stay away from all foods containing this composite must indulge in a Gluten-free diet.

Why is there a Gluten-free diet?

The reasons for switching to this diet are mostly health-related. When ingested, this composite triggers health problems for those with Celiac disease—a disease that affects the small intestine. About 1% of adults worldwide have Celiac disease. Other people avoid gluten due to wheat allergies, as gluten would trigger an allergic reaction if ingested.

In addition, there are those who claim non-celiac gluten sensitivity, known as NCGS. This group of people cites improvement of multiple health symptoms when indulging in a gluten-free diet. Some of these symptoms are related to the irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal pain, headache, and muscle fatigue. More recently, the gluten-free diet has become a popular trend—with a large following and celebrity endorsement—under the notion that the diet will cause weight loss and better health in general.

What consists of a Gluten-free Diet?

When maintaining a gluten-free diet, one has to avoid all foods that contain any sort of wheat. Some common foods that include gluten include pasta, bread, cakes, and cookies. Other common food groups that contain gluten are fried foods, seasoned chips, snack foods, and salad dressings. Common foods among people who indulge in a gluten-free diet are vegetables (lettuces, broccoli, and carrots), protein-rich foods (meat, eggs, and fish), and dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream). More recently, gluten-free options (such as gluten-free beer, pictured above) are starting to become present in grocery stores and on restaurant menus with the increase in the diet’s popularity.