Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What it means to be gluten intolerant and how to go gluten-free


Information courtesy of Isabel De Los Rios, www.BeyondDiet.com



Recently, Miley Cyrus has received criticism for looking too thin; but the young actress and singer confessed that she’s allergic to gluten - the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye – causing her to go gluten-free.  For those with a serious intolerance to gluten (celiac disease), a gluten-free diet is an essential way of life.  However for many, going “g-free” has become a choice for some people who want to cut carbs and drop a few pounds.  May is also National Celiac Disease Awareness Month, the ideal time to talk about gluten-free eating. 

Isabel De Los Rios, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Exercise Specialist & Co-Founder of BeyondDiet.com explains what it means to be gluten intolerant and how to go gluten-free:

“If you suspect that you may be intolerant to gluten, I encourage you to eliminate gluten from your diet for at least 4–6 weeks to determine whether your symptoms are alleviated. Because most individuals who are intolerant to gluten also are intolerant to dairy, lactose, or both, I encourage you to also eliminate dairy and dairy-containing products while you’re on a gluten-free diet.”

Which Foods Contain Gluten? Some gluten-containing foods and ingredients to avoid include the following:
§  Beer
§  Breads (bagels, biscuits, English muffins, rolls, tortillas)
§  Cakes and cookies
§  Cold cereals (some – read ingredient lists)
§  Condiments like soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and salad dressings
§  Couscous
§  Gravies
§  Oats (Oats do not contain gluten, but have the risk of cross-contact during harvesting or processing.)
§  Pasta

What to Watch for on a Label if You a Have Gluten Intolerance
§  Grains like wheat, barley, rye, spelt, semolina, kamut, wheat germ, bulgur, farina
§  Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
§  Starch and vegetable starch
§  Brown rice syrup
§  Artificial colors
§  Malt (extract, syrup, flavoring)
§  Thickeners

Alternative gluten-free foods (eat this, not that).  Wheat and all-purpose flours should be avoided on a gluten-free diet. Instead, use almond flour, coconut flour, garbanzo bean flour, brown rice flour, millet flour, or quinoa flour.  Allowable gluten-free foods and ingredients include the following:
§  Amaranth
§  Arrowroot
§  Bean flours (e.g., garbanzo, sorghum)
§  Buckwheat
§  Corn
§  Millet
§  Quinoa
§  Rice

Gluten-Free Recipes
It’s important to remember that gluten-free flours cannot be directly substituted for wheat flour. In baking, gluten-free flours tend to work best when combined with other gluten-free flours. Also, because gluten is a protein, it can help to add protein (like eggs) when using gluten-free flours in place of wheat flour.

2 comments:

so said...

Actually if you're gluten intolerant you may also my casein intolerant which is the protein in milk. My doctor explained the protein molecules are so similar that the body has a difficult time telling them apart. Lactose usually isn't involved because that's a sugar not a protein. That's a whole different issue. There are gluten free oats,beer,corn tortillas, most ingredients will list whether or not a product is gluten free or not. Health food stores carry a fair selection of gluten free foods. If in doubt don't eat it. Most bean flours and gluten free products are horrible. So I stick to the basic food groups unless I make my own. I still find it difficult to lose weight. I've gone years without wheat and one year without dairy. It's been so many I can't remember how long. I can now handle a little diary but the wheat still upsets my stomach. There are so many tests that doctors can do now to find out if you are gluten intolerant or have wheat allergy. When baking all you need to do is follow your regular recipes and add some xanthan gum (that's important). If the recipe calls for eggs then add them by all means too. I've been doing this for so many years and not by choice that when people ask me if I'm doing it for a fad diet it makes me mad. I'm not used to it yet. Most bean flours have a terrible taste too. People would warn me against the bean flours. I use brown rice, sorghum and cornstarch. There's lot's of information on line that's helpful.

Julie St. Thomas said...

We eliminated almost all of the gluten from our diet a few years ago. It was a lot easier than most people think. Plus, since my hubby is diabetic it's a lot healthier for him.

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