The term “Gluten Free” has become very common over the last several years. You have probably seen food packaging specifying gluten free items or even full isles of gluten free options. Labels on restaurant menus signifying gluten free options are also becoming more common, and you have likely heard someone you know saying that they either try to avoid gluten or eat a gluten free diet entirely. Following this trend, many coffee shops and cafes have adapted their menus to offer options for those who are either gluten intolerant or those who voluntarily steer away from it. But some of you might be wondering what the gluten free diet entails and if you should transition your own diet. We are here to help!
What is Gluten?
It’s important to know the facts about something before cutting it out of your life, and gluten is one of those highly misrepresented topics. Gluten is simply the name for the protein that is found in substances like wheat, barley, rye, and triticale—basically any grain. Gluten is the part of these grains that works as the glue that holds everything together, helping it maintain its shape.
Why Avoid Gluten?
There are several conditions that cause people to avoid gluten. The most severe is an autoimmune condition called Celiac Disease. If a person with Celiacs consumes food with gluten—or even grains that have been cross contaminated with it—then their own immune system attacks the small intestine. The resulting damage causes an inability to absorb nutrients properly. However, even if an individual tests negative for Celiacs, they may still suffer from Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, which is very common. The most common symptoms for those who have gluten sensitivity are bloating, fatigue, foggy brain, nausea, constipation, and headache. Many people discover a reduction in these issues when eliminating gluten from their diet, which is why many people choose to stay away from it all together.
Gluten Free ≠ Fat or Sugar Free
One thing to note is that a gluten free diet is not necessarily a weight loss diet. For instance, while there are many gluten free options at the grocery store for snacks, pasta, pizza, cookies, etc, these are still made with refined sugars and grains—sometimes even more so than their gluten counterparts. So if losing weight is your main concern, a gluten free diet might not be the most effective way to go.
Our Gluten Free Menu
In addition to our extensive and incredible coffee menu at Mochas & Javas, we also are known for our deliciously baked-in-house goods, including gluten free options! We have a wide variety of muffins available on any given day, as well gluten free breads for our homemade paninis at our North LBJ location! Going gluten free should not mean having to skip out on your favorite meals or treats, and one of our goals is to make sure that we serve the highest quality and best tasting treats possible. Our gluten free options are some of the best in town, so if you are looking to start a gluten free lifestyle, our coffee shop might be the perfect place to begin!