Saturday, September 3, 2011

Gluten Free Forever!

Alternative Food Style: Gluten-Free
Gluten is the protein part of wheat, rye, barley, and other related grains. Some people cannot tolerate gluten when it comes in contact with the small intestine. This condition is known as Celiac disease.
Celiac disease is now clearly known to be genetically determined.  In other words, if you or your close relatives have a certain gene, then it is more likely that you will get Celiac disease some time in your life.  Of great concern and interest is the fact that nine out of ten people with Celiac disease do not know they have it.  A simple blood test can give the physician the first clue to this disease.
In patients with Celiac disease, gluten injures the lining of the small intestine. This injury can result in weight loss, bloating, diarrhea, gas, abdominal cramps, and/or vitamin and mineral deficiencies. When patients totally eliminate gluten from the diet, the lining of the intestine has a chance to heal.

Gut Bacteria

The primary area of injury in celiac disease is the small bowel but there may be a relationship between what happens in the small bowel and the colon or large bowel.  There are very large numbers of bacteria in the colon. Most of these are beneficial and actually confer health benefits.  When these good bacteria thrive, they suppress the bad bacteria, which are present in the colon.  What has been found is that celiac patients, in fact anyone on a gluten-free diet, have an altered make-up of bacteria in the colon which favors the unwanted bacteria.

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Prebiotic Plant Fiber

A prebiotic is not a probiotic, which are beneficial bacteria taken by mouth.  These probiotics are present in yogurt, other dairy products and pills.  Prebiotics, on the other hand, are the necessary plant fibers that contain both oligofructose and inulin.  These two fibers are the main nourishment for the good bacteria that residein the gut.  These fibers are rich in chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, leeks, asparagus and others.

Benefits Of Going Gluten Free
Basing your diet off of the gluten-free phenomenon can be genuinely healthy and may benefit your cholesterol levels, digestion, and energy level. You don’t have to worry about the little things like soy sauce and malt flavorings, but if you avoid the major red flags in the gluten-free diet, you just might start to feel healthier. For example, you would have to avoid everything that’s fried because of the breading, which would allow you to avoid the oil and fat, as well.
Most desserts would be off-limits, decreasing your sugar and fat intake. However, healthy grains like rice and corn would still be in the mix, giving you the carbohydrates your body needs. With many of the over-processed starches removed from your diet, you’d be likely to start eating more fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products in addition to healthy grains. You would also be giving up most fast food (can’t have those buns) except for salads, helping you to avoid even more grease, fat, and oil, but you could keep French fries on the list of deliciously unhealthy foods you would still be allowed to eat. Overall, you would consume less junk food and more fresh food, which is a healthy way for anyone to eat.

Foods to Avoid on Gluten Free Diet

All Regular Cereals, Grains, Flours, Plants & Seeds That Contain Gluten & Should Be Avoided in Alphabetical Order
  • Barley - Food and drink containing high levels of malted barley such as malted drinks, beers, ales, lagers and stouts.
  • Barley malt extract – This is used to improve the flavor of certain foods and drink. Some experts would advise that it can be consumed if the amount of extract is very small but I would advise not to consume any foods and drinks containing any level to be on the safe side.
  • Bulgar – A cereal made from several different wheat recipes.
  • Cous cous – Made from semolina wheat and ground wheat flour.
  • Durum wheat – Used in many different dishes throughout the world including macaroni, pasta and bread when ground into fine flour.
  • Einkorn – Form of wheat which is not heavily used in any western products.
  • Emmer – Form of wheat used in pasta and bread and similar to durum wheat.
  • Kamut® – Found in many foods such as pastas, breakfast cereals, bread, beer and cookies.
  • Pearl Barley – Used in many beers, whiskies and bread.
  • Rye - Used in flour and rye bread.
  • Semolina – Used in pasta and breakfast cereals.
  • Spelt – Used in pasta and as a form of flour.
  • Triticale – A genetically made grain that is a cross between wheat and rye.
  • Wheat – Widely used to produce pastas, breads, cakes and biscuits.
The list may seem quite a lot to look out when shopping but the Gluten Free Diet is not designed to be a fad diet, it is a serious solution to a serious condition suffered by many people. It’s in your best interest to grow wise to these ingredients in order to help you avoid consuming any of them in your diet. Just remember the smarter you become about what to avoid in your diet the healthier and happier your life will be.
So Many Gluten Free Choices to Enjoy!
Allergies and Gluten Free   

A Few Steps to the Gluten-Free Diet Switching to a gluten-free diet can be difficult in the beginning. Following these 10 steps will make the changes easier.

 Identify Naturally Gluten-Free Foods at Home

Many foods are naturally gluten-free. Before you buy expensive store-bought gluten-free breads and cereals, look in your kitchen cupboards and refrigerator for the following items.
  • Fresh fruits
  • Fresh beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, and seafood
  • Fresh eggs
  • Fresh, plain milk, butter, margarine, cream
  • Plain beans
  • Plain corn
  • Plain white rice, brown rice, wild rice
  • Plain nuts and seeds
  • Oils
  • Sugar, honey, molasses
  • Spices and herbs * Plain = no additives

 Identify Gluten-Free Packaged Foods at Home

Next, take out all of the packaged foods with food labels and put them on your kitchen table. Some packaged foods have gluten hidden in the ingredients. A list of Common Sources of Hidden Gluten is provided for you at the end of this fact sheet (List 2). Read the ingredient lists. If you find any sources of gluten in the ingredients, do not eat that food. You can either get rid of the gluten-containing foods or place them in a separate part of the cabinet so others in the household can eat them. Labeling laws now require wheat ingredients to be clearly labeled, however this does not necessarily mean the food is gluten-free. A gluten-free label, on the other hand, identifies a food that is safe to eat.

 Plan One Week's Menu Around Naturally Gluten-Free Foods

Don't know where to start? Try these suggestions:


  • Cream of rice cereal with fresh fruit or nuts
  • Cottage cheese or yogurt with fresh fruit
  • Scrambled eggs, bacon and fresh fruit
  • Egg, cheese, and vegetable omelet with potatoes and fresh fruit

Lunches and Dinners

  • Baked potato with cheese and vegetables
  • Corn tortillas with stir-fried meat and vegetables
  • Stir-fried meat and vegetables with rice and wheat-free tamari
  • Bean-and-cheese burritos made with corn tortillas
  • Grilled meat or fish, baked potato and vegetables


  • Plain rice cakes with cheese or peanut butter
  • Nachos made with plain corn chips, cheese and salsa
  • Celery sticks with cream cheese or peanut butter
  • String cheese
  • Plain popcorn with oil and salt
  • Fresh or canned fruit with yogurt or ice cream

 Make a Gluten-Free Shopping List

After you have planned your one week's menu, make a gluten-free shopping list for foods you wish to buy. See sample Gluten-Free Shopping List (List 3) at the end of this fact sheet.

 Read Food Labels Every Time You Buy           

Occasionally, ingredients change for the same brand product. So, you must check the ingredients for hidden gluten every time you buy a packaged product. Always take the Shopping Guide: Sources of Gluten (List 4) provided at the end of this fact sheet with you when you go food shopping.

 Avoid Cross-Contact

If you also shop and prepare food for people who do eat gluten-containing foods, it is important to protect your gluten-free foods from contact with gluten.

  • Buy two jars of jam, mayonnaise, and peanut butter. One is for you, and the other is for everyone else. A knife with bread crumbs will leave gluten behind in a shared jar. Be sure to label which jar is gluten-free. You can also buy squeeze bottles so nobody needs to use a knife.
  • Buy a separate toaster for gluten-free breads, or put clean aluminum foil on the rack of your toaster oven when you use it for gluten-free products. You can also try toaster bags that are reusable bags for use in toasters and toaster ovens.
  • Buy a separate colander/strainer for gluten-free pasta. Colanders are too hard to clean to completely remove gluten. Color coding with a permanent marker can help keep all kitchen utensils separate.
  • Clean counter tops and cutting boards often to remove gluten containing crumbs.
  • Clean cooking utensils, knives, pans, grills, thermometers, cloths, and sponges carefully after each use and before cooking gluten-free foods.
  • Store gluten-free foods above gluten-containing foods in your refrigerator and cupboards.
  • Use pure spices rather than blends.
  • If you bake with gluten-containing flours, put away or cover your gluten-free foods when you bake. Flour dust can float in the air for several hours and contaminate your gluten-free products.
  • Avoid purchasing staples from bulk bins.

Eat Out and Travel Gluten-Free with Ease

You can eat out at restaurants. Although there is concern for cross-contact when you eat out, you can reduce the risk by planning ahead.
  • Before you leave home, do a little homework. Many restaurants have a website where they post their menus. Write down all the choices that are gluten-free. Often a menu with gluten-free options is available on request.
  • Avoid bakery-type restaurants or pizza places where the gluten-containing flour can stay in the air and come in contact with other foods.
  • Call ahead and talk to the manager or chef about items that are prepared gluten-free.
  • Make your first visit to a restaurant before or after peak dining hours so the staff has enough time to answer your questions.
  • Always identify yourself as someone who is allergic to wheat, rye and barley. The staff may not understand the word “gluten.”
  • Bring your own gluten-free food when traveling. This way, you will always have something you can eat. Apples, raisins, fruit leather, rice cakes, and nuts are good travel snacks.
  • Always ask how the food is prepared. Talk to the manager or chef if your server doesn’t know. Some specific questions to ask include:
    • Is the meat marinated in soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, or Worcestershire sauce?
    • Is the chicken dusted with flour before pan-frying?
    • Is the oil used for French fries also used for frying onion rings (or other breaded foods)?
    • Are there croutons or bacon bits on the salad?
    • Do you use wheat flour to make the gravy (or thicken the soup)?
  • If your meals will be prepared for you (hospital, college dining hall), ask to speak with the dietary manager.

Eat a Balanced Diet

People with celiac disease may not get enough calcium, vitamin D, iron, B vitamins, or fiber on a gluten-free diet. For example, many gluten-free breads, cereals, and pasta are not fortified with vitamins and may be low in fiber. Are you getting enough nutrients from your diet? If not, be sure to include some nutrient dense gluten-free foods listed below and/or take a multivitamin and mineral supplement. Additionally, look for “whole grain” versions that contain the bran layer (rice bran, brown rice, brown rice flour). Variety is key to maximize protein, fiber, and nutrients.

 Nutrient Dense, Gluten-Free Foods (GOOD!)
Milk, yogurt, cheese, sardines and salmon with bone, broccoli, collard greens, almonds, calcium-fortified juice, amaranth, teff, quinoa
Meat, fish, chicken, beans, nuts, seeds, eggs, amaranth, quinoa, teff
B Vitamins
Eggs, milk, meat, fish, orange juice, beans, nuts, seeds, gluten-free whole grains
Vitamin D
Vitamin D-fortified milk and yogurt, egg yolks, salmon, sardines, tuna
Vegetables, fruits, beans, amaranth, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, sorghum, teff, flax

 Identify Any Additional Food Intolerance's

If you are not feeling better on a gluten-free diet, you may have other food intolerance's such as lactose (milk sugar), cow’s milk, soy, corn, eggs, nuts, yeast, and acidic foods. Talk to your doctor and dietitian if you are not feeling better on a gluten-free diet.

 Get Support

For a successful transition to the gluten-free lifestyle, you need support from your doctor, dietitian, family, friends, and other people living with celiac disease.
Joining a local celiac disease support group can be very helpful. These people understand what you are going through better than anyone else. They will be able to offer you emotional support and answer all the questions you have. For a list of support groups, see the Resources section.
Remember, you are fortunate that celiac disease has a known treatment and that the damage is reversible. With practice, you can manage this condition with ease. Good luck!

Gluten-Containing Foods and Ingredients (Bad!) (This is not a complete list.)
Ale Durum Lager Seitan
Atta Einkorn Malt Semolina
Autolyzed yeast Emmer Malt extract, malt syrup, malt flavoring, malt vinegar Soy sauce
Barley (pearl, flakes, flour) Farina Malted milk Spelt
Beer (gluten-free beer is available) Faro/Farro Matzoh Triticale
Brewer's yeast Fu Modified food starch Wheat
Bulgur Gluten, gluten flour Oats* Wheat bran
Chapatti Graham flour Orzo Wheat flour
Couscous Hydrolyzed vegetable/plant protein Rye Wheat germ
Dinkel Kamut Seasoning Wheat starch
*Those labeled gluten-free are fine. Oats do not contain gluten, but have the risk of cross-contact during harvesting or processing.
 Common Sources of Hidden Gluten (Bad!) (This is not a complete list.)
Baked beans Flavoring Marinades Seasonings
Blue cheese crumbles French fries Meat loaf Self-basting poultry
Breading Gravy Nuts Soups, soup bases
Broth, bouillon Herbal Teas Processed meat Soy sauce
Candy Ice cream Puddings Stuffing
Cereal binding Icing/frosting Rice mixes Thickeners
Chocolates Imitation seafood Roux Vegetarian "burgers"
Color (artificial, caramel) Imitation bacon Salad dressings
Communion wafers Licorice Sauces
Dry roasted nuts Maltodextrin Sausage
Sample Gluten-Free Shopping List    (GOOD!)
Lettuce Tomatoes Cabbage Carrots
Broccoli Potatoes Celery
Apples Oranges Bananas Grapes
Meat, Proteins
Beef Chicken Fish Eggs
Pork Turkey Shrimp
Milk* Cheddar cheese Cream cheese* Butter
Yogurt* Cottage cheese* Sour cream
Binders (for baking)
Xanthan gum Guar gum Tapioca
Frozen Foods
Berries Corn Sorbet Gluten-free waffles
Mangoes Peas
Canned and Packaged Foods
Peaches Pears Green beans Dried beans
Gluten-free Grains
Rice* (all forms, even glutinous) Amaranth Buckwheat Soy
Quinoa (keen-wa) Arrowroot Potato flour, starch Teff
Millet Bean flours (garbanzo, fava) Sorghum Tapioca (manioc, cassava)
Popcorn* Corn chips* Nuts and seeds* Jello
Rice cakes, rice crackers* Potato chips*
Honey Jams, jellies, marmalade Herbs Pickles
Ketchup Corn and maple syrup Salt Vinegars
Mustard Sugar Pepper Regular mayonnaise and salad dressings*
Peanut butter Spices Olives Vegetable oils
Fruit juice Coffee Tea
*With no gluten-containing additives.
Shopping Guide: Sources of Gluten (Bad!) (This is not a complete list. If in doubt, choose another brand.) Read labels every time you buy! Ingredients can change at any time.
Foods to Avoid
Ale Dinkel Lagar Seasonings
Atta Dry roasted nuts Licorice Seitan
Autolyzed yeast Durum Malt Self-basting poultry
Baked beans Einkorn Malt extract, malt syrup, malt flavoring Semolina
Barley (pearl, flakes, flour) Emmer Malted milk Soups, soup bases
Beer (gluten-free beer is available) Farina Marinades Soy sauce
Breading Faro Matzoh Spelt
Brewer's yeast Flavoring Meat loaf Stuffing
Broth, bouillon Fu Modified food starch Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
Brown rice syrup Gelantized starch Mono- and
Bulgur Graham flour Oats (not labeled gluten-free) Triticale
Cereal binding Gravy Processed meat Wheat
Chocolate bars Hydrolyzed vegetable/plant protein Roux Wheat bran
Color (artificial, caramel) Icing/frosting Rye Wheat flour
Communion wafers Imitation seafood Salad dressings Wheat germ
Couscous Imitation bacon Sauces Wheat starch
Dextrin Kamut Sausage

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing. I hope it will be helpful for too many people that are searching for this topic. Keep posting and keep this forum a great place to learn things.