Gluten Intolerance

National Association of Wheat Growers

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and sometimes, through cross-contamination, oats that provide elasticity in bread products. Gluten flour is often mixed into flours that have less protein content in order to make better quality bread. Wheat gluten isn’t bad – in fact, it’s essential to making many of the great wheat products available today. However, an estimated 1 percent of the population has celiac disease, which is also known as gluten intolerance, and an additional 6 percent are thought to be gluten-sensitive. Gluten intolerance is different from an allergy and can be diagnosed by a doctor. Those who are gluten intolerant cannot eat gluten-containing products because the protein damages the lining of their small intestines. Everyone else – 93 percent of us – can consume gluten without concern.