Gluten-Free? No problem!
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein molecule made of smaller units called amino acids. This elastic protein is found in some grains to give dough its structure and cohesiveness. In most people, the gluten molecule is broken down by digestive enzymes and is absorbed across the intestinal cells to provide energy for the body. This normal process becomes harmful to a person with a hypersensitive or ill functioning immune system. In those with gluten intolerance, the gluten protein remains whole and indigestible. The immune system and gluten create an inflammatory reaction in the intestine, resulting in flattened or blunted intestinal cells. These damaged cells can no longer properly absorb the products of digestion resulting in the symptoms of diarrhea, fatty stools, cramping, bloating, and malnutrition.
A Classic Case of Gluten Intolerance
Celiac Disease (CD), also known as gluten sensitive enteropathy, is a type of gluten intolerance that affects approximately one percent of the American population. It can occur early in childhood resulting in slow growth and development and failure to thrive. Sometimes the symptoms may be mild and the diagnosis is delayed until adulthood. CD is easily diagnosed by the classic presentation of symptoms and is definitively diagnosed through blood work. A sample of the intestinal tissue may be taken (this procedure is called a biopsy) and looked at under a microscope to determine the extent of cell damage. However, it should be known that symptoms may occur outside of the digestive system (called extra-intestinal symptoms), and that recognizing these may make reaching a diagnosis difficult and lengthy.
What Can I Eat?
Look for foods containing quinoa, millet, amaranth, rice, and potatoes or potato flour. At HYGEIA I carry an extensive selection of gluten-free products including:
- Cereals (hot & cold)
- Doughnuts (frozen)
- Muffins (frozen & baking mixes)
- Snack, Energy & Breakfast Bars
- Breads (Frozen & Shelf Stable)
- English Muffins (Frozen)
- Bagels - Sesame, Plain & Cinnamon Raisin (Frozen)
- Hotdog & Hamburger Buns (Frozen & Shelf Stable)
- Brown Rice & Corn Tortillas (Frozen)
- Bread Mixes and Flours
- Baking Products
- Waffles (Frozen)
- Patsie Pie Biscotti
- Pancake/Waffle Mixes
- Pizza crusts (Frozen)
- Coconut Bliss Ice Cream
- Sol Cuisine Veggie Burgers/Breakfast Patties
- Pie Crusts (Frozen)
- Tart Shells/Butter Tarts (Frozen)
- Chicken or Turkey Stuffing
- Pork, Brown, Turkey and Chicken Gravy
- Multi-Grain Dinner Rolls (Frozen)
- Toasta Bags (Great for eliminating Cross-Contamination)
- Perogies (Frozen - Potato/Cheddar and Potato/Onion)
- Burritos (Frozen - both Dairy and Dairy Free)
- Beef Canneloni (Frozen)