Go Gluten-Free in 2011

Jan 30, 2011
If your New Year's resolution is to eat healthier by decreasing or eliminating gluten from your diet, you can learn how to get started from Whole Foods Market this month.

In-store educator Julie Pratt will walk you through the store, sharing her knowledge of gluten and how to avoid it in your everyday diet 7 to 8 p.m. Jan. 13 and 27.

A gluten-free diet is one without wheat, rye, spelt and barley.

The gluten in wheat products tends to be the most irritating. It's not uncommon for people to avoid wheat products. Those with celiac disease and more severe allergies avoid all products containing gluten (wheat, spelt, barley and rye).

Some people need to avoid oats, too. The grain is gluten free, but usually is grown and processed with wheat. So, those with celiac disease or severe allergies need to avoid oats, dietitians say. Some companies now offer gluten-free oats.

Pratt suggests cutting down on gluten even if you don't have celiac disease or allergies.

"Gluten is a heavy, sticky protein that takes a lot of energy to digest," she said. "This is why after you eat bagels and pastries your stomach tends to stick out a bit and feel uncomfortably fuller. Many of us consume more gluten than we need in our day-to-day diets."

But there are many alternative products to enjoy, including rice (several varieties), quinoa, millet, lentils, beans, legumes, seeds and nuts.

Whole Foods also offers many alternatives to flour, bread, tortillas, bread crumbs, pie crusts, cinnamon rolls, pizza and crusts, muffins, cookies, scones and even bagels.

Throughout the year, Pratt educates the community about what it means to be gluten-free and what gluten-free products are available. source


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