Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. The main purpose of choosing a gluten-free diet is to prevent the intestinal disturbances associated with Celiac Disease.
People with Celiac Disease are unable to digest gluten proteins and, as a result, suffer from inflammation of the intestines, malabsorption, abdominal cramping, and severe diarrhea. Unfortunately, the gluten-free diet is the only known treatment for people with Celiac Disease.
Foods To Avoid On A Gluten-Free Diet
- Imitation meat
- Processed lunch meat
- Salad Dressing
You also want to avoid anything with the following grains: Barley, Bulgur, Durham, Farina, Graham flour, Kamut, Matzo meal, Rye, Semolina, Spelt, Triticale, and Wheat. You will need to be vigilant about cross-contamination, as any teeny tiny amount of gluten will cause a reaction. Even items like toothpaste, play dough, lipsticks, certain vitamins and food additives like malt flavoring or modified food starch can contain gluten, so scrutinizing packages will become second nature to you.
Foods You Can Eat
Your staple grains will become amaranth, buckwheat, corn, quinoa, and rice, as long as they have not been contaminated by trace amounts of gluten. Other safe foods include:
- Fresh meats, fish and poultry
- Wine, Distilled Liquors and Spirits
You can also find gluten-free versions of all your favorite products like breads, pastas, pizza crusts, cookies and beers. Many restaurants are now catering to gluten allergies.
People who suffer from Celiac Disease will not have any symptoms as long as they remain on a strict gluten-free diet indefinitely. One thing to keep in mind is that gluten-containing foods often come along with essential nutrients like Iron, Calcium, Fiber, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin and Folate, so you will need to monitor your intake or find a gluten-free supplemental vitamin if necessary.
Image by david.nikonvscanon