Gluten-Free Food Expo This Saturday at South Florida Fairgrounds

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Pasta and bread are some of the foods that are universally liked in the world.  Almost every culture has a noodle dish or makes some rustic farm bread. But people with gluten intolerance can't enjoy products like wheat, barley, and rye, which contain gluten and related proteins.

This has started an entire new food industry. Gluten-free pastas, breads, even beers have made it easier for people with Celiac disease to eat good-tasting gluten-free foods.  In fact, there's an entire expo devoted to trying and discovering gluten-free foods.

The Gluten Free Food Expo at the South Florida Fairgrounds this Saturday, February 18 will allow people to discover gluten-free foods from about 100 vendors.  Vendors will provide samples of foods, with most foods available for sale at the expo.  Vendors include Woodchuck Hard Cider, Tia's Bakery, Pirate Brands, Nana's Cookie Company, Larabars, Kettle Cuisine, Full Flavor Foods, and Conte's Pasta Co. Inc.

The expo is hosted by the Celiac Disease Foundation South Florida Chapter and runs from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.  Admission is $5 per person, with a maximum of $15 per family.  Free parking is provided.

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation South Florida Chapter, one

in 133 Americans may have Celiac disease, also known as gluten

intolerance. The numbers go up if a blood relative is afflicted with

the disease -- to one in 22. 

For people with Celiac disease, eating gluten sets off a chain reaction

that causes the body's immune system to attack the cells of the small

intestine. Because it interferes with absorption of nutrients, symptoms

of Celiac disease include chronic diarrhea, bloating and weight loss. If

unteated, the disease can lead to joint pain, fatigue, weakness,

depression, osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anemia, and infertility.

Switching to a gluten-free diet is usually all it takes to reverse the above symptoms and allows Celiacs to live a normal life.

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