Gluten-Free: Go Against the Grain!
You’ve probably heard someone in your life talking about going gluten-free—but what does that mean, exactly? Gluten is an elastic protein found primarily in wheat, rye, barley, and other grains. It’s not found in meat or eggs, but “stealth gluten” is often an ingredient in products you’d never suspect: soda, alcohol, salad dressings, sauces and marinades, vitamins and cosmetics, even the glue on envelopes!
Who Goes Gluten-Free?
While there are many reasons people go gluten-free, the most common reasons include:
Autoimmune Disorders. Celiac disease, Hashimoto’s disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, PCOS, and other inflammatory autoimmune disorders can be gluten-triggered.
Wheat Allergies and Gluten-Sensitivity. While not in the same classification as autoimmune conditions, these conditions’ symptoms are better managed with a gluten-free diet.
Autism. Autistic people within certain subsets have demonstrated improvement in symptoms by implementing a gluten-free diet.
If you’re thinking that going gluten-free is by-product of modern times, you’re right: We’re not eating the same gluten as our ancestors, we’re eating engineered grains—so it stands to reason that our digestive biology may take a while to catch up.
Getting Around Gluten
So how do you get around gluten, when it’s in everything from barbecue sauce to toothpaste?
Figure Out Your Sensitivity Levels. That way, you can determine if gluten cross-contamination is something you’ll need to consider. While some people going gluten-free can tolerate oats and other grains, some can’t—so you’ll want to figure out what works for YOU.
Watch Labels. Some flags for gluten are easy to spot: wheat, wheat gluten, barley, rye. But other forms of gluten are sneakier: Malt (derived from barley) and hydrolyzed vegetable protein (often containing gluten) are common ingredients signaling a product contains gluten.
Reframe How You Think About Food. Going gluten-free means abstaining from many staples of the Western diet: bread, cereal, crackers, and pasta are all sources of gluten that you may been to omit from your diet or find substitutions for to fit your lifestyle and dietary preferences.
Marketplace: Your Gluten-Free Solution
Missing breakfast cereal? Try Native State’s Purely Pinole hot breakfast cereal. Flavors range from Original (dress it up to your taste!), the comfort of Brown Sugar & Cinnamon, or try it in Blueberry & Banana, Berry Boost, or Maqui Berry, Coconut, & Almond. Works as both a hot morning cereal alternative, and is great in smoothie bowls, too!
Yearning for a muffin? Marlo’s Bakeshop Soft-Baked Biscotti to the rescue! Their Banana Bread biscotti is made with toasted walnuts, maple syrup, and real banana puree. Or reach for Bobo's Lemon Poppyseed Oat Bars, a refreshing, gluten-free twist on the classic muffin flavor with a bright burst of citrus to keep your morning rolling.
Protein lovers, rejoice! Most forms of jerky are gluten-free (though you’ll want to scan the labels for marinade ingredients that might contain “stealth gluten.”) We recommend Topanga’s Finest jerky—particularly the Sriracha Chicken flavor, for those who love the kick of sriracha, but with a little less heat.
You can also check out our blog post that features a full list of additional gluten-free snack options.