Gluten vs. Gluten-free

Facts About Gluten

Gluten is a protein found in wheat and related grains in the wheat family like barley, rye, spelt, faro and bulgur. Foods made from wheat such as breads, cereals, and pasta, contain gluten. Gluten helps pasta maintain its many shapes and gives it the slightly chewy texture.

Most people enjoy products that contain gluten without any side effects. A small group of people may have a gluten intolerance or allergy. For those individuals who have been diagnosed by a doctor with a gluten sensitivity, there are numerous gluten-free pasta options that allow them to enjoy a wide variety of pasta dishes.

Several types of pasta, spikelets of wheat  on white
Curried Coconut Mussels over Rice Noodles
Curried Coconut Mussels over Rice Noodles

Gluten-free Pasta

Gluten-free pasta is interchangeable in all recipes. The biggest difference you will find when replacing wheat pasta for gluten-free pasta is a difference in texture. Cooking times also vary with gluten-free pasta in particular, so it is important not to overcook. Check out our healthy Pasta Fits recipes here, including this Curried Coconut Mussels over Rice Noodles, which was created especially for those following a gluten-free diet.

Benefits?

Individuals who do not have gluten sensitivities derive no nutritional benefit from eating gluten-free pasta and will find that traditional enriched pastas provide good nutrient value, such as iron, folic acid and other B vitamins.

Have more nutrition questions? You can also visit www.gowiththegrain.org for more information on grains and gluten.

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