What is Gluten? Gluten is a type of protein found in most cereals, grains, and breads. It is contained in food processed from wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and kamut. Gluten helps bread to rise, giving it a chewy texture. Not all foods from the grain family contain gluten. Some examples of non-gluten grains include: regular and wild rice, buckwheat, quinoa, corn, millet, oats, etc.
A Gluten-free diet is a diet completely free of all foods derived from these gluten grains. Unfortunately, gluten shows up unexpectedly in many processed foods that contain food additives, flavorings, stabilizers, or thickening agents.
Celiac disease is a condition that causes many digestive symptoms due to difficulty in digestion of gluten. Those with celiac disease must avoid gluten-containing foods 100% of the time. Certain foods, such as oats, that do not contain gluten should be used carefully due to cross contamination that can occur while growing in fields near wheat or during processing on the same machines.
Wheat or gluten sensitivity: Certain individuals who do not have celiac disease have been found to be sensitive to wheat or to all gluten-containing foods. Often this is the result of eating wheat or gluten foods many times daily, every day, for many years. Sensitivities develop that only will improve with the removal of wheat or all gluten for a period of time. Often, wheat can be reintroduced into the diet, as long as it is eaten infrequently (once every 4-7 days). Others find that symptoms return any time they eat wheat.
What grain foods and starches are acceptable on a gluten-free diet? There are many grains to choose from, but most are not common or always readily available. Because gluten is the protein that helps bread to rise, breads made without gluten have a different texture. They also can be quite costly. The most common gluten-free starchy foods include corn, potatoes, and rice, but there are other non-gluten whole grains that are more nutritious. Some, such as quinoa, are not actually grains but are treated as such because they are satisfying and taste like grains! Other less common grains and starches to try on a gluten-free diet include: millet, sorghum, tapioca, arrowroot, teff, amaranth, buckwheat. Even bean and nut flours may be used in gluten-free baking! Some examples include garbanzo bean flour, soy flour, chestnut flour, coconut flour, hazelnut or almond meal, or chia seed. These tend to be higher in protein and dietary fiber than wheat flour. When buying products made from these flours, it is important to be careful of other possible sources of gluten. For example, pastas that contain buckwheat or amaranth also may contain wheat flour. READ LABELS!
The following lists of allowed foods and foods to avoid will be helpful when first undertaking the task of avoiding gluten. You will be pleased to find that many foods still taste delicious!
GLUTEN-FREE FOOD LIST:
|Type of Food||Food Allowed||Foods to Avoid|
Carbonated or mineral water
|Postum; coffee substitutesMalted milk (e.g., Ovaltine)
Instant coffee if wheat flour added
|Breads:||Breads made from rice, gluten-free oats, sorghum, garbanzo bean, arrowroot, tapioca, soybean, corn, pure buckwheat, or potato floursGluten free baking mixes
Rice crackers and cakes
|Wheat, rye, kamut, spelt, and barley (flours, bread, rolls, crackers)Pancakes, breads, muffins, biscuits, and waffles from commercial mixes, unless stated “Gluten-free”
All crackers, pretzels, bread crumbs, breaded foods made from above grains
|Cereals:||Amaranth, millet, or corn cerealRice/Cream of Rice, Cream of buckwheat, oatmeal, Quinoa flakes||Omit all made with wheat, rye, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, and wheat germ|
|Puffed corn or rice, Perky’s Nutty Rice|
|Desserts:||Dessert made with allowed flours||Commercial ice creams|
|Meringues||Ice cream cones|
|Rice pudding||Prepared puddings|
|Gelatin, sweetened with fruit juiceFruit whips||Homemade puddings thickened with flourPies, pastries|
|Cakes, cookies, doughnuts|
|Meats, Fish, Eggs, Cheese:||All meats, poultry and fish prepared without breadingEggs
All cheese except creamed
|Breaded meat, poultry, fish, patties, croquettes and loaves with bread crumbsCanned meats, Dishes with cold cuts and frankfurters (unless guaranteed pure meat)
Creamed sauces, gravies, cheese spreads, spreads with wheat flour
|Potatoes/Pasta/Grains:||White and sweet potatoesRice and bean thread noodles and pasta
|Spaghetti, noodles, macaroni, dumplings made from wheat, spelt, kamutBarley soup or pilaf
|Vegetables:||As desired||Any prepared with bread crumbs or cream sauces|
These materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on Pavilion Family Medicine Medial Blog is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.