So what’s “gluten-free”?
Gluten is a protein that is included in wheat, barley and rye. It is what makes the chewiness of bread and udon noodles.
Originally, it was a treatment for sickness or allergy, but many people now go on diets where they avoid products that contain gluten. It’s booming in the U.S. and is gaining popularity in Japan.
Foods that commonly include gluten are noodles such as udon, ramen and pasta; bread; cakes; and roux for curry and stew.
Substitutes for these products are soba noodles and rice noodles such as Korean bifun and Vietnamese pho or bean noodles. Breads made from rice flour or soy flour are also good replacements.
According to those who have tried a gluten-free diet, its benefits are that you feel well rested when you wake up, your skin is clearer, you feel less constipated, your immunity to illness increases, and you’re more able to control an overactive appetite.