What’s new in gluten-free?

What's new in gluten-free?
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 4:11 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) -We have all heard about the gluten-free diet and have undoubtedly noticed a wide variety of gluten-free products on grocery shelves.

Have you ever wondered if eating gluten-free will improve your health? Hy-Vee registered dietitian Nina Struss RD, LD, provides updated information about this diet, including why some people need to eat gluten-free and how that is determined. She will discusses tips for label reading and how to select gluten-free products at Hy-Vee.

If you are interested, here is a link to a Gluten-Free Guide at Hy-Vee’s website that includes recipes, product recommendations, and tips and tricks to live your best GF life: https://www.hy-vee.com/recipes-ideas/advice-how-tos/cooking-guides/gluten-free-guide

People that absolutely need to eat a gluten-free diet have Celiac disease. Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disorder. When a person with celiac eats gluten, the villi in the small intestine are damaged. Diagnosis requires a blood test and biopsy of the small intestine. The only effective treatment for celiac disease is adherence to a strict, lifelong GF diet.

Besides celiac disease, the other reasons to follow a GF diet include a wheat allergy or a gluten intolerance (test negative for celiac yet still get symptoms when eating gluten).

Other than those factors, there is no evidence that eating a gluten-free diet will improve health or prevent disease. In other words, if you don’t have celiac disease, a wheat allergy, or a gluten intolerance, you DO NOT need to follow a gluten-free diet.

If you have questions, reach out to your doctor or a Hy-Vee dietitian. It’s not advisable to restrict your diet when there’s no medical reason to do so.

What Is Gluten? Gluten is the protein component in the grains wheat, rye and barley. Oats have a high risk for cross-contamination so make sure to check the label. A gluten-free diet can still fit into a healthy eating plan and include all five food groups.

As we shop, we should all be reading food labels and ingredient lists carefully. When it comes to GF, look for the certified GF label or statement saying GF on packages. Remember that wheat-free does NOT always mean gluten-free.

Wheat is one of the top 8 food allergens, therefore manufacturers are required to state on the label if the product contains wheat (but not barley or rye). Made in same facility/may contain wheat statements are voluntary labeling and NOT required by federal regulation.

Hy-Vee has so many GF products and options! Watch the video segment to learn more about the growing array of brands and product lines for those looking to reduce or eliminate gluten from their diet.