DENVER, Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite our love affair with wheat, about
10-15% of us can't eat it due to food sensitivities or celiac disease -- an
autoimmune condition where wheat damages the digestive system -- and must
learn a new way of living without America's favorite grain.
"Whether you're dining out or cooking at home," says Carol Fenster,
Ph.D., a wheat-free chef whose company, Savory Palate, (www.SavoryPalate.com)
develops wheat-free products for manufacturers, "it's important to maintain a
positive attitude, educate yourself, and enlist the support of family and
friends to help you avoid wheat and maintain your health."
Fenster, who had to learn to cook all over again when she discovered that
wheat caused her sinus problems, says you can speed up the learning curve and
avoid accidentally eating wheat with these basic tips from her cookbook:
-- When dining out, choose upscale restaurants where food is more likely
prepared on-site, from scratch. This gives the chef more freedom to
accommodate your request for plain meat since breading contains wheat.
-- Ask for steamed vegetables without sauce since sauces are often
thickened with wheat. Be leery of side dishes such as rice which can
unexpectedly contain wheat in the form of bulgur.
-- Call ahead or check the restaurant's web site to see if they feature a
wheat-free or gluten-free menu. Many national restaurant chains,
including Outback Steakhouse and Maggiano's, offer special dishes for
people with wheat sensitivities.
-- For baking at home, choose wheat-free flour blends at your local
health food store. They'll save you time and can be used in Fenster's
recipes. And, don't forget the xanthan gum. Without it, baked goods
crumble and fall apart.
-- When choosing any food or ingredient, read labels carefully to detect
hidden wheat. Ingredients such as all-purpose flour, unbleached flour,
semolina, durum, or farina are actually wheat.
-- And wheat's cousins -- barley, rye, spelt, and kamut -- are also off-
limits because they contain gluten, a protein that is the chief
culprit in wheat sensitivities.
Fenster's cookbook, Wheat-Free Recipes & Menus: Delicious Dining without
Wheat or Gluten, is available at health food stores, www.Amazon.com, and her
SOURCE Savory Palate, Inc.