What’s up with gluten?

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Six spoons hold ingredients used in gluten-free cooking. Gluten-free ingredients include starches, flours and rice cereal.

Alayna Wallace

As the phrase “gluten-free” becomes part of consumers’ vocabularies, some people are switching to a gluten-free diet — one not meant for everyone.

Found in cereal grains and wheat, gluten is an enemy for those diagnosed with Celiac disease, a condition that makes the body unable to process it. Celiac disease affects 1% of Americans, and demands a gluten-free diet to avoid further damage to the small intestine.

As shopping markets make consumers more aware by stocking their shelves with gluten-free cookies, dips, chips and more, many are pledging to a life devoid of gluten, such as Lauren Gronek (10).

“My diet is anything except for food with wheat ingredients. I can have food with rice or corn flour in it so [my family makes] our food with that instead,” Gronek said.

Saying goodbye to gluten can assist with those struggling with intestinal issues, but going gluten-free is not a trend that can be used to lose weight fast. Actually, the loss of gluten in one’s diet can result in indulging in excess carbs or sugars. For those who are gluten-sensitive such as Gronek, a gluten-free diet done right can help create a better-quality life.
“It has impacted my life a lot in a good way. It makes you feel a lot better all around and any problems that I was having with headaches or stomachaches have gone away,” Gronek said.