The Short Answer is that since I don’t have a sensitivity, and I don’t have Celiac Disease, I don’t have any reason to avoid the stuff.
The slightly longer answer is that it’s a marketing gimmick for the roughly 99% of people who don’t have anything medical going on. It isn’t to say that the other 1% out there who do have trouble don’t have a right to want something better to solve their problems, but if you’re “normal” in respect to it you are succumbing to yet another food fad that will just make you fat.
Celiac Disease is a state where the body takes gluten, which is a naturally occurring protein, and attacks it as an invader. This happens in the intestines, and over time it will cause some serious side effects. But these people are quite rare in respect to the population of about 8 billion.
They do need to watch. You probably don’t.
Will eating Gluten Free hurt you? Probably only in your wallet or in your taste buds or your waste if you are “normal”.
Gluten is a protein that happens when you prepare plant proteins like wheat for use in baked goods like bread. Kneading will tend to increase the amount of gluten you will find in the “product”. The reason why you might want it is so that the dough will be more stretchy.
That is definitely a plus in bread, not so good in cakes. There is a special low protein flour that is used in baking cakes and pastries that is used so that you get that nice soft spongy result. A chocolate cake that stretches isn’t really a good thing. A Kaiser Roll, on the other hand should stretch.
When they take out the offending thing, whether that is gluten, fat, or some other food related “thing” other items will be added back. Low Fat foods tend to be high sugar as a result. Gluten Free Products can use a combination of fat and sugar to get the correct-ish mouth feel back.
But I don’t have Celiac Disease, and bake breads the way I do because I can. Actually, I do it because I prefer the taste of a homemade bread, cake, or what have you to just about anything “Mass Market”. There are some amazing commercially available breads and baked goods, for those of us who don’t have the interest or time to learn how to bake.
On the other hand, I’ve gotten so that with about 10 minutes of prep I can make a double batch of rolls.
I just have heard so much about this latest food fad and came to the conclusion that for the vast majority of us, Gluten Free is just going to be the fad of the year.
If you would like a video that explains most of this, I found this one for you. At least I’ve finally been able to put my own head to rest on this.