Celiac disease is a disorder where gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye damages the surface of the small intestine. Because of this effect, people with celiac disease must avoid products that contain gluten.
So how many people does this really affect? The Canadian Celiac Association estimates that 1 in 133 Canadians are affected by celiac disease. The Whole Grain Council tells us that an additional 0.2% to 0.4% of the population may be allergic to wheat, and another 1-6% of the population may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
People who have celiac disease can enjoy grains by choosing gluten-free grains like corn, rice and quinoa just to name a few. Many people with celiac disease can also tolerate pure oats. While oats inherently do not contain gluten, oats in North America may have come in contact with gluten-containing grains during harvest, milling, or processing.
Have more questions about gluten?
In the news: “There is more risk than benefit to a gluten-free diet for people — especially children — who haven’t been diagnosed with celiac disease or wheat allergy, according to the Journal of Pediatrics”, from CBC.ca (May 13, 2016)