What exactly do "Gluten-Free" food labels mean - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

What exactly do "Gluten-Free" food labels mean

QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) - Gluten-free labels aren't hard to miss at the grocery store, but it might not mean exactly what you think it does.

First of all, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. But just because a label says it's gluten-free, that doesn't mean it's 100 percent percent free of gluten.

A Quincy Hy-Vee dietitian says the FDA passed a law last year to set the standards on what can be considered gluten-free.

"It has to be under 20 parts per million," Brittany Donlon said. "That's the guidelines to be considered gluten-free. And so in order for them to put the gluten-free on the package, they do actually have to test to make sure that they are following that."

Donlon also says some people think that a gluten-free diet is a carbohydrate-free diet, but there are other grains you can still have like rice and gluten-free pasta.

"So it's still going to be rich in carbohydrates, depending on what you eat," Donlon said. "So that's one misconception. And two, that it's just healthier. As in, with just a regular diet you can eat healthy on a gluten-free diet absolutely. But you can still buy cookies and cakes and donuts and everything too that would not be considered super healthy."

According to the FDA, the gluten-free claim is not required to be on a food package. So it may not be labeled even if the food is, in fact, gluten-free.
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