What is Gluten?
Mother Nature uses the protein gluten to supply grain seed with nutrients to prompt germination. For bakers, gluten is the glue-like protein that holds bakery products together and gives bread its rise - not to mention a pleasing flavor and texture. If a person is sensitive to gluten, the only way to better health is to eliminate it completely from their diet. That means no wheat, barley or rye, or any of their byproducts. This condition makes it quite challenging to eat in a restaurant or a bakery where wheat is used exclusively.
Since January 2007, Apple's has been perfecting formulas for those who are gluten intolerant. The flour for our gluten free foods focuses on rice, garbanzo bean, tapioca, soy and potato flours. A dedicated space and equipment ensure that our gluten intolerant customers can have confidence that the products they enjoy are absolutely wheat-free.
What is Celiac Disease?
An extreme form of gluten intolerance is Celiac Disease. While the exact cause is unknown, research has revealed that it is associated with a group of genes (Chromosome 6) which are involved in the regulation of the body's immune response to gluten protein. Gluten interrupts food nutrients from absorbing, which causes damage to the intestine and the digestive disorder known as Celiac Disease.
People with Celiac Disease suffer from abdominal cramping, intestinal gas and bloating, chronic diarrhea, fatigue/weakness, muscle cramps and other symptoms. An initial screening can test for the disease using specific antibody blood tests.
One out of 133 people in the United States is affected with Celiac Disease. Ninety-seven percent of adults and children go undiagnosed of his genetic disorder. The disease occurs in 5-15% of the offspring and siblings of a person with Celiac Disease. Family members who have an autoimmune disease are at a 25% increased risk of having Celiac Disease.
The only treatment for Celiac Disease is lifelong adherence to a gluten free diet. A small intestine will heal once gluten is completely removed from the diet. Someone suffering from Celiac Disease must avoid foods containing wheat, rye and barley. This includes foods such as pasta, cereal, and any processed foods. It is essential to read labels of foods such as rice and corn products in case these foods are manufactured in the same factory as a wheat product.