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Gluten Free Foods – What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is found in foods that use these grains in the ingredients. Common foods that contain gluten include bread, cereals, and pasta. Even though these may be the most common foods there are many others that contain gluten as well. Wheat especially is hidden in many foods that the average person consumes every day.

Oats are a grain that is questionable for this subject. Some people with gluten intolerance can eat them. Some research indicates that oats themselves do not contain gluten but they usually are manufactured with wheat products, causing cross-contamination.

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Due to this contamination oats often get left off of a Gluten-free food list. Other research explains that oats contain a protein that is very similar to wheat and should not be included in a gluten-free diet. Oats continue to be debated for this issue.

Gluten is most often used in bread dough to make it chewy. It also helps to make the dough less sticky. Gluten is also an aid for the bread to maintain its softness and its shape. Wheat flour and wheat starch is other gluten product that helps to create softness and shape in bread-based products. Wheat starch is often used as a thickener for soups, dressings, marinades, and other liquid food products.

The number of people who maintain a gluten-free diet is growing. People with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, and Autism often stay strict to a diet with no Gluten. There are other reasons why a physician may suggest a Gluten-free diet.

People who suffer from acid reflux, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, and many other medical concerns may try a diet without Gluten. The diet may give relief from the symptoms associated with any of these medical diagnoses.