Gluten-free facts, what you need to know

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      What is gluten? Why are dieters turning to gluten-free foods to lose weight? And what is celiac disease?

      Here are ten things you need to know about the word GLUTEN.

      Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye.

      A gluten-free diet omits the protein - gluten, which means no wheat, barley or rye.

      Celiac Disease is a condition that damages the lining of the small intestines. The damage is caused by eating gluten.

      More than three million Americans suffer from celiac disease. Many more are gluten-sensitive.

      Celiac disease is usually found in multiple family members and can affect any gender and any age group.

      There are more than 300 symptoms of celiac disease. They range from skin rashes to depression.

      By 2015, sales of gluten-free foods and beverages are expected to hit $5 billion, according to Packaged Facts, a market research firm.

      Gluten-free dieters often don't get enough iron, calcium, zinc, and B vitamins.

      A gluten-free diet can lead to weight-loss because it eliminates high-calorie, refined carbs like wheat-based pastas, breads and sweets.

      Most doctors only recommend gluten-free diets for people who have celiac disease and do not recommend it for weight loss.

      This information is sourced from, and U.S. News & World Report.