What Does Gluten Free Mean?
Over the years, we have learned more about gluten and the intolerances and sensitivities that may come with it. While we learn more about how people cope with their symptoms around sensitivities and celiac disease, we have also learned that a gluten free diet can be beneficial for improving digestive and overall health.
What is Gluten?
The first step to understanding gluten is to know what it is and where it comes from. Gluten is a protein naturally found in wheat, barley, and rye. This protein binds together the grain and adds elasticity to breads and other grain products. According to Healthline, “gluten is also frequently used as an additive to improve texture and promote moisture retention in a variety of processed foods.” Even though gluten is a naturally occurring substance, it can cause a lot of grief to those with an allergy or sensitivity to it.
Medline plus defines celiac disease as “an immune disease in which people can't eat gluten because it will damage their small intestine.” To best treat and maintain this gluten intolerance, those with celiac disease can only consume foods with less than 5 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.
In addition to Celiac Disease, there are additional gluten-related disorders, like a wheat allergy that also limit individuals to a gluten free diet.
Benefits of Going Gluten Free
Lately, gluten free diets have gained popularity--and not just among those that struggle with gluten intolerances and sensitivities. The most common consequence of eating gluten free is improved digestive health. If you experience frequent bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or constipation, try going on a gluten free diet. It could make all the difference for your overall health!
For a product to be labeled gluten free, it means that they contain less than 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten. Those with celiac disease are forced to look more closely at labels as most cannot tolerate more than 5 to 10ppm of gluten. To learn more about these labels, here is the latest from the Food and Drug Administration.
At Kate’s Real Food, we believe in real food and clean ingredients. Most of our ingredients are what would be considered naturally gluten free. In the spirit of supporting the gluten free lifestyle, we also purchase organic brown rice crisps and organic oats with gluten free certifications (to minimize the likelihood of gluten in them). As a result, our bars are under 20ppm--which makes them gluten free, according to FDA and USDA regulations.
We proudly label our bars and bites gluten free, but are sure to include a message about possible cross contamination for those with serious sensitivities to gluten. Click here to learn even more about our ingredients.