What Are Gluten-Free Burgers?

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  • Written By: Donna Tinus
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 13 May 2020
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Gluten-free burgers are hamburgers prepared without gluten, which is a protein that is present in wheat, barley, and rye products. People with allergies or sensitivities to gluten must avoid the ingredient, prompting food manufacturers, chefs, and home cooks to find new ways of incorporating alternative ingredients into traditional foods. Hamburgers typically contain some form of breadcrumbs to soften and bind the burger, as well as to stretch the meat. Burgers also are usually served on a bun containing wheat and vegetarian burgers rely heavily on wheat added to soy products to create a meat-free version of a beef product. Gluten-free burgers may substitute the wheat flour in the hamburger with potato flour, rice starch, or tapioca starch, and cooks often serve the burger on a wheat-free bun.

People who are looking for gluten-free burgers have various reasons for living on a gluten-free diet. Some have celiac disease, which is autoimmune disease that causes the lining of the small intestine to become damaged when the sufferer eats foods that contain gluten. Other people have either an allergy or sensitivity to gluten products. Still others are following a gluten-free diet to improve health and energy or to lose weight. Gluten-free diets have even been touted as a way to better cope with headaches, autism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Many foods contain gluten, even foods that one might not think would contain the ingredient, such as salad dressing and licorice. This can make finding gluten-free foods, including gluten-free burgers, a challenge. When choosing gluten-free products, consumers should be careful and read ingredients. Many are high in carbohydrates, sodium, and fat. In some cases, preparing gluten-free burgers at home may be a better alternative.

Home cooks looking for ways to prepare gluten-free burgers can prepare the hamburger with ground beef, turkey, chicken, veal, or a combination of meats. They can add spices and sauces like gluten-free Worcestershire sauce, if desired. A tasty bun can be baked following one of a number of recipes that use alternatives to wheat starch. And plenty of vegetables can be piled on top of the burger, creating a meal that would rival it's traditional counterpart.

While a gluten-free lifestyle is a choice for some, and unavoidable for others, it also comes with some drawbacks. Avoiding gluten can lead to vitamin and iron deficiencies, since these supplements are often added to wheat products. Anyone following this diet would probably benefit from taking daily multivitamins.


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