One of the largest dietary trends during the last several years has been that of gluten free dining. While some people have taking up this eating lifestyle because they suffer from celiac disease, many others follow it because of how they claim it makes them feel. Regardless of the reasoning behind it, many Appleton, Wisconsin restaurants now make a concerted effort to offer some menu items that are gluten free.
One of the misconceptions behind gluten is that it is an unnatural food additive that manufacturers add to their processed food. While it is true that some food products do have additional gluten added to them, gluten is actually naturally occurring proteins that are found in wheat, specifically in the seeds that are ground down to make flour. There are two separate proteins and they are partially responsible for what makes dough so elastic and chewy. Although only specifically found in wheat, some scientists believe that gluten or gluten-like proteins may also be found in other grains such as rye and barley.
People have the misconception about gluten because many people cannot understand that a natural food product, and one that is such a common staple to people's diets, can actually be harmful to them. Unfortunately, some people have an auto-immune reaction to gluten, and when they consume it, their body treats it like a harmful subject. This is celiac disease, and it damages their intestines, making it impossible for them to digest the important nutrients they need. Many other people suffer from what is now called non-celiac gluten sensitivity, where they have many of the same symptoms as celiac disease but without the harmful damage to the intestines.
There is no known cure for either of these conditions, and the only effective measure of treatment is to avoid all gluten. This is especially challenging, as most styles of cooking and food preparation involve some form of wheat or grain. If you think of a typical person's daily diet - cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and maybe some pasta for dinner - you can see that each meal contains gluten. The best success most people have when looking for ways to avoid gluten is to embrace alternative styles of cooking and dining.
This is just one of the reasons that Latin fusion restaurants have started to become popular in America. With an emphasis on fresh ingredients and staple dishes that include chicken, beef and seafood with side dishes of rice & beans and vegetables, many items on their menus tend to be gluten-free without even trying. Gluten-free dining is certainly important for some people, and although no scientific evidence supports the belief that everyone can benefit from eating that way, the fact remains there are more gluten free dining in Appleton choices now than ever before.
Jack Terry is a freelance writer who has been writing about the food and beverage industry for more than 20 years. http://www.osorioslatinfusion.com