What is Gluten Exactly?
Gluten is a general name for proteins found in wheat, which assist with dough elasticity, making dough pliable. Essentially, it is the glue that holds the product together. Eliminating gluten from products involves using other starches such as corn and potato starch and using alternative gluten-free grains like amaranth.
Who is the Gluten-Free Diet For?
For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, going gluten-free is a must. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder characterized by damage to the lining of the small intestine, which prevents the absorption of nutrients from food. Gluten from wheat, barley, rye, and oats causes the damage. Those with celiac disease suffer from painful gas, diarrhea, bloating, stomach pain, weight loss, skin inflammation, malabsorption, and eventual malnutrition. The only “cure” for celiac disease is a lifelong avoidance of gluten in the diet. Those with gluten sensitivities find that eating gluten gives them diarrhea or constipation and leaves them feeling gassy, bloated, puffy, tired, and generally out of sorts. These people have sensitivity to gluten and eliminating gluten from the diet often relieves these symptoms.