The Gluten-free diet is indicated for celiac disease (which may be accompanied by dermatitis herpetiformis) and wheat allergy. However, this diet has gained popularity in people without specific allergies to gluten. There have even been claims that this diet may help to treat autism, although this claim remains unproven. This diet excludes all gluten-containing products. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and titicale (hybrid mix of rye and wheat). Gluten is also an additive to many foods. In addition, while oats are gluten-free themselves, they are almost always contaminated by contact gluten-containing grains during processing.
Less Obvious Sources of Gluten
- Marinades, sauces, soy and teriyaki sauces
- Salad dressings (some)
Pros and Cons of a Gluten-free Diet
There are many "gluten-free" products on the market that are modified versions of foods that naturally contain gluten, such as gluten-free breads and pastas. These foods are more expensive and calorically very similar to their gluten-containing counterparts.