Gluten-free food is becoming increasingly prevalent on supermarket shelves and restaurant menus. What is gluten, why can't some people digest it, and what does it mean to eat gluten-free? Here are some answers to these frequently asked questions.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in cereal grains. This protein damages the small intestine lining in people who have celiac disease
. The only way to manage celiac disease is to eat only foods that are 100 percent gluten free. Even small traces of gluten can trigger a painful celiac attack.
What's Not Gluten Free?
All foods that contain the ingredients below and any of their derivatives (such as malt flavoring and modified food starch) contain gluten: