Burger King Offers Gluten-Free Menu

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2010-01-13 13:15

In an effort to serve those with wheat and gluten allergies, Burger King joins other fast food restaurants, such as Wendy’s and McDonald’s, with offering customers a menu listing of items that are gluten-free.

Gluten is the prime protein in grass-related grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye. People with an autoimmune disorder called celiac disease must avoid foods that contain the gluten protein because it disrupts the structure of the lining in the small intestine, leading to an impairment of nutrient absorption. Avoiding gluten can keep the villi of the intestine from becoming damaged and prevent gastrointestinal upset and malnutrition.

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There are about 40,000 to 60,000 people in the United States diagnosed with celiac disease, but the number of those who are sensitive or intolerant to gluten may be higher.

Eating out is especially difficult for those with a gluten sensitivity, because wheat flour is used in many products for texture, breading, and as a flavoring or stabilizing agent. Many restaurants and dining establishments are offering customers information on the ingredients used in their foods, not only for those with celiac disease, but also for those with other food allergies, such as a peanut, egg, or milk allergy.

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