In recent years, gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular. This is due to the fact that gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, can cause a wide range of health problems for some people, including celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergies.
For these individuals, avoiding gluten is essential for maintaining their health and well-being. In this article, we will be discussing whether Athenos feta cheese is gluten-free, and what this means for those on a gluten-free diet.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, barley, and rye. It gives bread and other baked goods their elastic texture and chewiness.
However, for some people, gluten can cause a wide range of health problems. These include:
This is an autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine. When people with celiac disease consume gluten, their immune system attacks the small intestine, causing damage to the villi, which are the tiny finger-like projections that line the small intestine.
This can lead to malabsorption of nutrients, which can cause a wide range of health problems, including anemia, osteoporosis, and cancer.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity:
This condition is similar to celiac disease, but the symptoms are less severe, and the immune system is not involved. Common symptoms include bloating, gas, diarrhea, and fatigue.
Similar to other food allergies, wheat allergies can cause a wide range of symptoms, including hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
Common Foods that Contain Gluten
- Bread and baked goods
- Some processed meats (such as deli meats and sausages)
- Some condiments (such as soy sauce and malt vinegar)
Athenos Feta Cheese
Athenos is a brand of feta cheese that is widely available in the United States. It is made from a blend of cow’s milk and sheep’s milk, and is known for its tangy, salty flavor.
The ingredients in Athenos feta cheese include:
- Cultured pasteurized milk and cream
- Feta culture
The company, Kraft Heinz, uses the traditional method of crafting feta cheese by using sheep and cow milk, then they use a natural fermentation process to create the tangy and creamy texture.
Is Athenos Feta Cheese Gluten-Free?
Based on the ingredients listed above, Athenos Feta Cheese is gluten-free. Gluten is not an ingredient in the product, and the company has not made any official statements regarding gluten cross-contamination during the manufacturing process.
However, it’s important to note that feta cheese can be crumbled on top of bread or crackers, which may contain gluten. So, if you’re following a gluten-free diet, make sure to check the ingredients of any bread or crackers you eat with your feta cheese.
Additionally, it is always recommended to check the packaging and label of the product before consumption to ensure that the product has not been contaminated during the manufacturing process.
While Athenos feta cheese is gluten-free, there may be other ingredients or allergens that are of concern to some readers. These include:
Athenos Feta cheese is made from milk, and therefore, contains lactose. Individuals with lactose intolerance may experience symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea when consuming lactose-containing products.
Athenos Feta cheese contains casein, a protein found in milk. Some people may have a casein allergy or sensitivity, which can cause symptoms such as hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing.
Athenos Feta cheese is a relatively high-sodium food. Individuals with high blood pressure or other health conditions that require a low-sodium diet may need to limit their consumption of this cheese.
Alternative options for those on a gluten-free diet
Goat cheese is a great alternative to feta cheese and is often gluten-free. It has a tangy and tangy flavor similar to feta and can be used in salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes.
Parmesan cheese is another gluten-free alternative to feta cheese. It is a hard, salty cheese that can be grated over salads, pasta, and soups.
Blue cheese is a gluten-free alternative to feta cheese and has a strong, distinctive flavor. It can be crumbled over salads, sandwiches, and burgers.
In conclusion, Athenos feta cheese is gluten-free and can be safely consumed by individuals following a gluten-free diet. However, it is important to keep in mind that feta cheese can be crumbled on top of bread or crackers, which may contain gluten.
Therefore, it is always recommended to check the ingredients of any bread or crackers you eat with your feta cheese. Additionally, it’s also important to note that this cheese contains lactose and casein, which may cause problems for those who are intolerant or allergic to these ingredients.
If you’re following a gluten-free diet and looking for alternatives to feta cheese, goat cheese, parmesan cheese, and blue cheese are all excellent options.
Remember, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before making any major changes to your diet. They can help you determine what foods are safe for you to eat and what foods you should avoid.
Can individuals with celiac disease safely eat Athenos Feta cheese?
Yes, individuals with celiac disease can safely eat Athenos Feta cheese as it is gluten-free. However, it is important to note that feta cheese can be crumbled on top of bread or crackers, which may contain gluten.
So, if you’re following a gluten-free diet, make sure to check the ingredients of any bread or crackers you eat with your feta cheese.
Additionally, it’s always recommended to check the packaging and label of the product before consumption to ensure that the product has not been contaminated during the manufacturing process.
Does Athenos Feta cheese contain any other allergens besides gluten?
Athenos Feta cheese is gluten-free, but it does contain lactose and casein, which are both allergens for some people.
Individuals with lactose intolerance or casein allergies may experience symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea when consuming lactose-containing products or casein-containing products.
Is there a low-sodium version of Athenos feta cheese available?
Currently, the company doesn’t have a low-sodium version of their feta cheese, but you can try to look for other brands that offer low-sodium feta cheese options.
You can also try using feta cheese sparingly and seasoning your dishes with herbs and spices instead of salt, to reduce your sodium intake.
Can I use Athenos feta cheese as a substitute for other types of cheese in recipes?
Yes, you can use Athenos feta cheese as a substitute for other types of cheese in recipes. Its tangy and salty flavor makes it a great addition to salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes.
Does Athenos feta cheese have any certifications for being gluten-free?
Yes, Athenos feta cheese has been certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), which is a third-party organization that tests and verifies that products meet strict gluten-free standards.
This certification is a good indication that the product has been thoroughly tested and is safe for individuals following a gluten-free diet to consume.