Gluten 101
Gluten. It’s in a lot of the foods we eat. Today, more and more Americans are becoming aware of gluten. Gluten is a protein found in cereal grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. This protein is responsible for giving dough its elastic, cohesive texture. In fact, gluten comes from the Latin word meaning “glue”. Anyway, this seemingly innocuous protein can create a lot of problems for individuals who are sensitive to it. While some may want to remove gluten from their diets for health reasons, others need to remove it because of celiac disease.

Celiac disease, an inherited, genetic disorder that can ultimately be life threatening, affects up to 1 out of every 133 Americans. It’s worth emphasizing that celiac disease is not a food allergy; it’s an autoimmune disease. Celiac disease has a wide range of symptoms making it difficult to diagnose. Some of these symptoms include chronic diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal bloating and pain, anemia, muscle cramps, chronic fatigue, weakness, malnutrition, and bone pain, among others.

Those with celiac disease are unable to eat foods that contain gluten. For these individuals, gluten triggers and autoimmune reaction that causes the destruction of the villi in the small intestine. Antibodies are produced that attack the intestine causing damage and illness. As the small intestine gets damaged, nutrients pass through it without being absorbed. Some studies have shown that if a person with this disorder continues to eat gluten, he or she will increase the chances of gastrointestinal cancer by a factor of 40 to 100 times. For those who have celiac disease, the only treatment currently available is following a gluten-free diet for life.

But following a gluten-free diet can be very difficult. Many foods you’d never guess actually contain gluten. These items include pastas, sauces, soup bases and broths, breading, flavorings, marinades, processed meats, seasonings, spices, stuffing, croutons, and more. If you’re not sure about a particular food or ingredient, you should always contact the manufacturer and ask them what an ingredient is derived from. Never assume or take things for granted.

To make things just a little bit easier, our bas are certified gluten-free. They’re also free of trans fats, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives. So if you’re looking for a healthier sugar-free/high protein snack bar that tastes great, please think of us and try any one of our eleven great flavors: s’mores, cookie dough, chocolate peanut butter, chocolate brownie, blueberry cheesecake, chocolate mint cookie, frosted cinnamon bun, chocolate raspberry truffle, toasted coconut, chocolate banana nut, and lemon meringue.