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Laurie Erdman's picture

There's Something About Gluten: A Starter Guide

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Gluten seems to be everywhere these days. From our food to our news to our celebrities, we can’t escape gluten. Why should you care? Because for some, booting gluten to the curb is a powerful way to own your health. So what's the deal with gluten? And should you kick the habit?

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein. It is found in wheat, barley, and rye. It's the stuff that makes dough stretchy and spongy and sauces thicken -- in short, it is the key to our comfort food.

Gluten is also the stuff that wreaks havoc for those with celiac disease. For those with this auto-immune disease (1 in 133 people have it), their bodies identify gluten as an evil invader and send their immune system into action. This battle results in collateral damage to the intestine, leaving it impaired. So while an active immune system may be great for fighting the flu, it's not so good for something found in everything from bread to soy sauce to crackers to soda.

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