As a growing number of Americans intolerant to gluten; a protein found in wheat and some other grains continues to increase, retailers and food companies are beginning to take notice.  It was only a few years ago when gluten free foods were almost non-existent, but now with more and more Americans suffering from celiac disease and other gluten sensitivities retailers are starting tomeet the growing demand.

Gluten free foods are no longer just available at select health foods stores, but have now become available at Target and local grocery stores. Although many follow gluten free diets that have no medical related issues at all, as much as 35 million people follow the diet because of increased energy, weight loss and overall improvement in health as a result of the diet.  Other followers of gluten free diets are following the trend. More people are learning they cannot eat gluten as physicians become better at detecting when the ingredient is making patients sick. That's giving food businesses confidence that demand won't fade after the fad does.

Check out this interesting infographic plus a allergy and gluten free scanner app made available from fooducate

Gluten-free packaged foods are selling fast despite their generally higher cost, both for producers and consumers. Substitute flours and other ingredients can be more expensive, but as many as 23 million Americans have no choice right now but to pay up when it comes to gluten-free foods.

Gluten can clearly make them sick. And 3 million to 4 million of them have celiac disease, which causes the immune system to attack the body itself.

Common symptoms of gluten free sensitivities and celiac disease include:

  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Nutritional deficiencies due to malabsorbtion e.g. low iron levels
  • Gastro-intestinal problems (bloating, pain, gas, constipation, diarrhea)
  • Fat in the stools (due to poor digestion)
  • Aching joints
  • Depression
  • Eczema
  • Head aches
  • Exhaustion
  • Irritability and behavioral changes
  • Infertility, irregular menstrual cycle and miscarriage
  • Cramps, tingling and numbness
  • Slow infant and child growth
  • Decline in dental health

Undiagnosed for long periods of time, food intolerances have been found to contribute to diabetes, bowel cancer, anemia and osteoporosis.

Gluten free diets provide overwhelming benefits to your health and can help ease medical conditions with adjustments of your diet.  Sarah Stanley is a strong advocate and community leader for Udi’s gluten free community, which provides a resource for news, updates, community chats and more! I encourage you to check out the Udi’s Gluten Free Living Community. You can learn even more about the benefits, get recipes and join discussions. You can even join Udi’s gluten free community on your mobile device! Get recipes, event alerts & special offers. Text UDISGF to 777555. (Msg/data rates may apply.