Gluten-free lifestyle seminar and fair in Columbia

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COLUMBIA - Maintaining a gluten-free diet is a popular lifestyle habit among many Americans.

Today, Natural Grocers in Columbia hosted a Gluten-Free Fair as well as hosted a Gluten-Free Living Seminary. Participants were educated on the definition of a gluten-free lifestyle, and the types of foods that can be eaten on the diet.

Vendors were set up around the store providing samples and sharing information on their products. Melissa Stevens, Natural Grocers' Nutritional Health Coach said that becoming gluten-free is a lot simpler than most may think.

"A gluten-free diet is very easy if you're sticking to a natural foods diet. Avoiding processed foods cause there are such things as gluten-free junk food," Stevens said.

She went on to say that being gluten-free, though a requirement for some, is beneficial to everyone. 

"If you have celiac disease of course, being gluten-free is going to be very healthy for your GI tract. Even if you're not allergic to gluten, gluten sensitivity - you even benefit from that," Steven said. 

According to an article by dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick, transitioning to a gluten-free diet is more successful when the entire family is involved and there are community resources.

Stevens says that the main goals of Natural Grocers are to provide nutrition education and quality foods to  the Columbia community.