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What is a Gluten-Free diet, and why should you go Gluten-Free?

Gluten is a protein found in some grains; wheat, barley, rye, oat and triticale. There are a handful of diseases which deal with gluten intolerance, such as Celiac Disease. However, since it’s rise in popularity, the gluten-free diet has gained traction among those without gluten-intolerant conditions!

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease where eating anything with gluten will cause your immune system to react and attack the small intestine lining. Over time, the damage caused by this would lead to troubles absorbing nutrients after meals. Celiac disease often coincides with a family of diseases known as Irritable Bowl Disorders (referred to commonly as IBD).

Around 270,000 Canadians are living with IBD. Out of this amount, around 135,000 have Crohn's disease, 120,000 have ulcerative colitis, and 15,000 have an unclassified IBD. In Canada, almost 1.0% of the population (or 1 in 114 Canadians) are estimated to be affected by celiac disease.

When you look at the breakdown of most diets, they usually remove gluten sources; Paleo, Whole30, AIP. Why, you might ask? There are a few common reasons someone might want to switch to a gluten-free diet, besides an allergy. Products with gluten are usually highly refined and processed, so some want to focus on a less processed, more natural, whole foods diet. When cutting out wheat and other gluten grains, people have said to feel more mental alertness and clarity, and more energetic overall!

Some have had unpleasant digestive issues or inflammation, and want to improve their “leaky gut”. Refined carbs / sweets (breads, cakes, snack foods) have all of the sugar, but none of the fiber you would find in fruit. Fiber helps you feel fuller (preventing accidental over-eating), improves blood sugar control, and is important for good gut health. It lets you digest and process your food more slowly; the fiber in your fruit helps slow down how fast your blood sugar raises after the sugary treat.

For those allergic to gluten, finding a source for alternatives can be hard. You want to enjoy all of the things you love, but need to find delicious substitutes to your favourite foods, like bread, flour and pasta. From gluten-free crackers to pancake mix, we are happy to offer a selection of carefully curated gluten-free snacks, pastas / starches, and baking needs.

Shop all of your favourite gluten-free products today!