EXTENSION CONNECTION: How to determine what is or isn't gluten free

Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 12:00 PM.

Good gluten-free alternative foods include amaranth, quinoa, rice, soy, fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, tofu, buckwheat, nuts, beans and seeds. 

More than 3 million Americans have been diagnosed with celiac disease, and countless others experience gluten intolerances and sensitivities. There are no known cures or treatments for gluten intolerance.

To avoid food products with gluten in them, as always, read the label carefully. Ensure that you do not miss a “may contain” statement where items were processed on the same machines with gluten-containing foods. Oats do not contain gluten but they are often processed with barley, which contains gluten.

Companies that manufacture only FDA-regulated foods and dietary supplements have one year to comply with the final regulations. The labeling guideline should make it easier for consumers to find foods that they can safely eat.

Brenda Smith is with the Okaloosa County Extension office in Crestview.

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