Restricted to a gluten-free diet? Here’s a Guide.
Gluten-free eating can be quite a challenge for people with Gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease (which is the GI manifestation of Gluten sensitivity). Although these conditions are different, people diagnosed with Gluten-sensitivity and celiac disease may be treated with gluten-free diets.
Gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease (CD) is a permanent, life-long genetic disorder affecting children and adults. When people with Gluten sensitivity or CD eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to numerous organ systems including the peripheral and central nervous system (brain), cardiovascular system (heart), the gastrointestinal system (esophagus, stomach, small bowel (classic Celiac disease), and colon), endocrine system (type one diabetes, other hormone dysfunction), and immune system causing autoimmunity (Sjogren’s, Rheumatoid arthritis, Hoshimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves disease, lymphoma, etc.).
Treatment modalities for the various condition are many times difficult to treat even after going Gluten free. Therefore seeking a Function Diagnostic Medical doctor to assess and treat these disorders is highly advised, for these conditions often lead to life-long disability.
Gluten sensitivity Even the smallest amount of gluten can cause an adverse affect on a person living with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Currently, gluten status is not required to be stated on food labels, so it may be difficult to identify gluten-free foods.
Here are some shopping tips to help you select gluten-free foods (remember to read your labels carefully).
Grains not allowed in any form:
Wheat (Einkorn, Durum, Faro, Graham, Kamut, Semolina, Spelt), Rye, Barley and Triticale. This list is not meant to be an exhaustive resource. It does not include alcohol, which often times contains Gluten (Beer, Gin, Whiskeys, etc.).
All fresh fruit and vegetables are gluten free.
Milk, buttermilk, butter, 100 percent cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese, eggs, egg substitutes, half and half, and sour cream are gluten free. Yogurt, plain ice cream and frozen yogurt, pudding, whipped toppings and soymilk are mostly gluten free. Check the ingredient list to make sure barley malt, rye or wheat containing toppings, flavorings, or fillers are not added. Caution: Many with Celiac disease are also Lactose intollerant.
Meats and poultry:
Most meats and poultry are gluten-free, except for those that are breaded or marinated in a gluten-containing mixture. Select poultry, beef and pork that contain no additives listed on the ingredients.
Fish and seafood:
All fresh fish and seafood is gluten free, unless it is breaded or in a gluten-containing marinade.
Choose plain dry beans and peas, rice, rice-pasta, Gluten-free flours and plain, uncoated dried fruit. Add your own seasonings and sauces. Gluten-free grains and flours include almonds, amaranth, beans, buckwheat, coconut, cornmeal, grits, millet, oats (labeled gluten free), potato, quinoa, rice and sorghum. Most regular cereals are not gluten free even when the product says corn, rice, or wheat free. Often there are added ingredients or there is gluten contamination during production. Always look for a “gluten-free” claim on the label.
Canned goods and beverages:
Tomato products, most unseasoned vegetables, beans and canned fruits are gluten free. Juice, tea, most sodas and sparkling water are gluten free.
Spreads, dressings and seasonings:
Jams, jellies, peanut and nut butters, fruit butters, applesauce, oils and many salad dressings are gluten free, but check each brand. Use pure herbs and spices, salt, pepper, sweeteners, distilled vinegar (apple cider, rice, balsamic, white, grape, wine) and only soy sauce that is labeled gluten free.
Plain, frozen vegetables and fruits, ice pops, ice cream and most sherbet are gluten free.
Little, if any, gluten-free items can be found in the bakery, except in some specialty stores. Check the freezer section for gluten-free, prepared baked goods or purchase gluten-free bread, cake and cookie mixes.
Select 100 percent corn and potato chips, plain and salted nuts, popcorn, rice crackers and corn and rice cakes.
A gluten-free lifestyle remains a challenge for many people. When in doubt about a product, always contact the food manufacturer. Contact information can be found on the Internet or product packages. Happy eating!