What Is Gluten Free?
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Gluten is also what makes gravy thick and pasta able to soak up sauce. It’s used in some meat substitutes (like seitan), primarily because of its texture and absorbent qualities. These qualities also make it a good culprit for being added to foods that need structure or absorbency – like popsicles and ice cream.
For most of us, gluten is nothing but a regular part of our diet. However, a growing number of people’s bodies see gluten as an enemy invader and react accordingly. A genetic, autoimmune disorder known as celiac disease afflicts about one in 133 Americans (or around 3 million people), and an additional 17 million are “gluten-sensitive.” In autoimmune disorders, your immune system malfunctions (or functions too well). In this case, a gluten protein triggers the immune system, creating havoc in the small intestine. Once rarely considered, these life-changing diagnoses have become more common as information and testing have become more available.
The treatment for both of these disorders involves removing gluten from your diet. This is not easy, because gluten is found in many common foods. As the number of people avoiding gluten has increased, a world of gluten-free foods have hit the shelves.
Web Editor Jenn Nemec found that rice crackers are quite tasty with a good goat cheese.
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