Gluten Free Diet
A Gluten-Free Diet is a diet completely free of gluten.
Gluten is a protein found in most grains (specifically those that include rye, barley, or wheat).
A Gluten-Free diet is required for sufferers of Celiac disease – a disease that affects the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People can have different degrees of gluten sensitivity ranging from minor digestive issues, wheat allergies, and IBS to severe Celiac disease.
Glutenous grains have also been linked to obesity and diabetes, but this is likely due to the fact that processed white wheat flour is in an abundance of products and it’s also usually combined with sugar.
Proponents of Ancestral diets claim that the human body has never evolved to eat glutinous grains which is why wheat is linked to so many health problems including obesity.
Foods That Contain Gluten
Basically any product that contains wheat, barely, or rye will contain gluten. Also, any product that is manufactured in the same plant as those processing those grains can also contain traces of gluten.
Flour, cakes, pastries, pastas, breads, couscous, cereals, processed foods, frozen dinners, some medications, pizza crust, cookies, pretzels, crackers, biscuits, some types of chocolate, some candy and candy bars, some ice creams, and beer.
Even if a product doesn’t list wheat as an ingredient, it could still have wheat derivatives. Food starches, semolina, spelt, graham flour, atta, triticale, hydrolyzed plant protein and malt are some of the other ingredients to be aware of.
Diet Without Gluten
It is possible to eat a well-balanced diet without gluten. Plain meat, fish, rice, fruits, and vegetables do not contain gluten, so people with celiac disease can eat as much of these foods as they like.
Over the last several years the manufacturing and marketing of gluten free products has become lucrative for many companies since people are giving up wheat based products for the many reasons cited above. There are gluten free sections in many super markets and major brands now have gluten free products.
Instead of wheat flour, people can use oats, potato flour, corn flour, rice flour, soy flour, coconut flour, nut flours or even bean flour. Or, they can buy gluten-free bread, pasta, and other products from special food companies.
However, like many specialized diets, social situations can be very difficult. All food ingredients should be read carefully to ensure the food does not contain gluten. Many restaurant chains now have gluten free options available on their menus.
Gluten-Free Diet Plans and Recipes
There has also been a surge in gluten free diet plans and cookbooks over the last 10 years. There are different plans to suit different needs. Some are aimed at curing disease, while others are aimed at weight loss.
There are also programs that are recipe based, giving dieters meal ideas in order to make the gluten free lifestyle easier. Below are some of the programs available.
|Gluten Free Daily||An online program that offers education about how to eat a gluten free diet combined with a holistic approach to health and wellness. Gluten Free Daily emphasizes that just because a food is gluten free it doesn’t mean that it is healthy. They has addressed this issue by creating a custom gluten free diet that is also low glycemic with optimal levels of fat, sugar, carbohydrates and sodium.|
|Gluten Free Fat Loss||This is aimed at people with slight sensitivity who’s goals are weight loss. In addition to avoiding gluten, Allison Westfahl offers detailed dietary guidelines to help you to achieve your weight loss goals. You must consume a minimum of 48 grams of whole grains a day; selected from gluten-free grains such as quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, buckwheat or oats. She also recommends a minimum of five servings of vegetables each day.|
|Gluten Free and Dairy Free Recipes||Contains a large number of gourmet gluten free French recipes.|
|Wheat Belly||This book includes detailed information about the potentially negative effects of wheat and offers guidance on how to get started with a wheat free diet.|
- Gluten intolerance group of North America
- Celiac Disease Foundation
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC)
- Dewar, D. H., Donnelly, S. C., McLaughlin, S. D., Johnson, M. W., Ellis, H. J., & Ciclitira, P. J. (2012). Celiac disease: management of persistent symptoms in patients on a gluten-free diet. World journal of gastroenterology: WJG, 18(12), 1348. link
- Kurppa, K., Paavola, A., Collin, P., Sievänen, H., Laurila, K., Huhtala, H., … & Kaukinen, K. (2014). Benefits of a gluten-free diet for asymptomatic patients with serologic markers of celiac disease. Gastroenterology, 147(3), 610-617. link