Gluten is a protein component found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten gives bread that elastic chewy texture we all love so much. More than 2.5 million people suffer from Celiac Disease and most don’t even know it. Those with Celiac Disease must maintain a lifestyle that is 100% gluten free. People who suffer from gluten insensitivity or gluten allergies can also greatly benefit from the gluten free diet. Many of the symptoms of these conditions are the same so it can be difficult to diagnose properly. If you suffer from any of these symptoms please consult your doctor before excluding gluten from your diet:
> Chronic diarrhea or constipation
> Abdominal pain and bloating
> Unexplained weight loss
Cooking gluten free means eliminating wheat, barley and rye from your diet as well as any products containing these ingredients. Reading food labels becomes essential because everything from soy sauces, canned soups, lotions and makeup can contain gluten. Baking gluten free can be a real challenge because you have to use a variety of flours, starches and gums in your recipe to mimic the qualities of gluten so your baked goods will not only taste good, but also have an appealing texture.