What is Gluten

Dawn Earnesty, Extension Educator, Michigan State University Extension; Sheilah Hebert, Extension Educator, Michigan State University Extension

Gluten is a protein that is common in the diets of U.S. consumers.It is found in wheat, barley,rye, and their grain relatives. Gluten is what helps breadexpand while the dough isrising and hold its shapewhile it’s baking and afterit cools. It’s also whatmakes bread chewy.

Gluten as Part of a Healthy Diet
Grains, both whole and enriched, play a vital role in a healthy diet. One benefit is that they’re great sources of antioxidants, fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, folic acid, and other vitamins and minerals. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (USDA & USDHHS, 2010) recommend that an average adult consume six 1-ounce portions of grain a day, with at least half of those in the form of whole grains. The complex carbohydrates found in grains are naturally low in fat, cholesterol and sodium, and they provide energy.
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