What Does It Mean To Be Gluten-Free? Gluten-free foods have become widely available in recent years. Unless you’re on a diet that eliminates gluten, you likely haven’t given the gluten-free movement much of a thought. If you’re one of the many people in the world who have trouble processing gluten in your system, however, gluten free-foods have likely been on your mind for a long time. What Is Gluten? Gluten is made up of two different types of protein that can be found in many cereal grains and foods that are made with flour. Wheat, barley, and rye all contain gluten. Gluten is what makes dough elastic and chewy, but it can also help emulsify certain items such as sauces, salad dressings, and gravies. There is gluten all around you, and if you’re restricted to eat only gluten-free foods, you’ll need to be on the lookout for it. Watching Out For Gluten Though bread and baked goods are commonly associated with gluten, you can also find gluten in pasta, soups, beer, and certain brands of French fries. If you have an intolerance to gluten, reading the labels must become a priority. Thankfully, there are many naturally gluten-free foods, such as fruits and vegetables, rice, and potatoes. There are many gluten-free flours available today such as corn, millet, teff, quinoa, and buckwheat that can be used in baked goods. There are also gluten-free baking mixes for items such as cakes, muffins, and quick bread, that can taste just as good as products traditionally made with gluten. Beneficial To Your Health There are many reasons why people eat a gluten-free diet, but the number one reason is for health purposes. Many find that a gluten-free diet can assist with weight loss. For those who have an autoimmune disease, such as celiac disease, a gluten intolerance, or an allergy to wheat, a gluten-free diet can eliminate many of the symptoms that come along with it such as stomach upset, fatigue, and skin rashes. Gluten intolerance has also been linked to anxiety, depression, and irritability. Even those who do not have a diagnosed allergy or reaction to gluten report feeling better after switching to gluten-free foods. Many explain that eliminating gluten from their diet led to better memory and cognition, increased energy levels, fewer digestive problems, and clearer skin. Choosing a gluten-free diet is an important decision, but it’s one that can improve your health in the long run.