Easy guide to gluten-free diet — part 1
This guide is designed to provide a basic information of the gluten-free diet for a people who are newly diagnosed with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and also for anyone who wants to remove gluten from a diet for sometime.
So what exactly is GLUTEN? Gluten is general name for certain types of protein found in the common grains like wheat, barley, rye, and their derivatives. Spelt, semolina, durum, kamut, triticale are other examples of some gluten-containing grain products found in food products. Gluten is protein made up of the peptides gliadin and glutenin. Gluten (latin for “glue”) is what gives bread it’s airy and fluffy texture and dough it’s sticky consistency.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is an immune response to gluten with many different symptoms (migraines, headaches, depression, anxiety, mood swings,gas, bloating, fatigue, constipation, brain fog, aches & pains of unknown origin, autoimmune diseases, hormonal imbalances, feeling unwell, etc) . It is not believed that non-celiac gluten sensitivity involves damage to the small intestine, however all gluten must be removed from the diet in order to see a difference before and after using one.
COMMON SOURCES OF GLUTEN:
Breads, Cereal Products, Cookies, Cakes, Baked Goods, Crackers, Croutons, Flour, Pastas, Pizza, Stuffings & Dressings.
HIDDEN SOURCES OF GLUTEN:
Sauces, Condiments, Dressings and Soups — very other thickened with flour and other additives.
Medications, Supplements, Herbal Formulas — read labels carefully, Dextrins often contain gluten.
Corn Chips — corn chips are very often contaminated with wheat when fried in the same oil as wheat products, so be cautious. You can always ask waiter is they have gf chips.
Stamps and Envelopes — thing what makes stamps and envelopes adhesive can come from gluten.
Alcohol — beer it is gluten but vodka also can be made from wheat. Instead stick to tequila or potato/corn vodkas.
Cosmetics — whole range of products can contain gluten: lipstick, toothpaste, body lotion, shampoo, soap, conditioner, sunscreen, etc.
Scrambled eggs — sometimes pancake batter is added to scrambled eggs to make them more fluffier.
Candy — always read the ingredients because many products are made from wheat flours.
Meats, Crab and Vegan Meat Substitutes — wheat is often used a s a filler in meats, crabmeat contains wheat as a stabilizer, many vegan meats and burgers are made from wheat or contain any other problematic ingredients (maltodextrin, coloring, artificial color, caramel color, diglyceries, food starch, fat replacers, glucose syrup, emulsifiers, enzymes, dextrins, glycerides, wheat starch, list goes on).
ALWAYS READ LABELS, whether or not products have a “gluten-free” claim look for the following ingredients: wheat, rye, barley, malt, oats (unless labelled as gluten-free), brewer’s yeast.
Wheat free doesn’t mean gluten-free — products labeled as “wheat free” are not inevitably gluten-free. They still contain rye, oat, barley and other ingredients that are not gluten-free.
YOU CAN ENJOY THESE GLUTEN-FREE GRAINS & FLOURS:
beans, rice (wild, brown, white), quinoa, corn, millet, amaranth, flaxseed meal, teff, nut flours: (almond & coconut flour), tapioca, buckwheat, cassava, sorghum, arrowroot, chia, yucca, oats (not uncontaminated with gluten).
Sometimes your body mistakes other foods for gluten because the proteins in them are very similar. If you removed gluten from your diet but still experience symptoms, I would suggest to eliminate some or all cross-reacting foods to see if your symptoms improve.
SOME OF THE FOODS THAT CAN CROSS-REACT WITH GLUTEN
- Dairy products (cow’s milk, yogurt, kefir, goat’s milk)
- Coffee — (instant coffee)
How you can test for gluten intolerance? You can invest and buy gluten test to do it on your own (eg. Food Detective), you can also get professional help from nutritionist, naturopath, functional medicine practitioner or other health practitioner who is familiar with functional lab test. There is another way to test your gluten intolerance by removing gluten from your diet for the next 30days. Sounds like a good idea! :)
Here is how:
- Try your best and eliminate gluten 100% for 30 days
- Reintroduce sources of gluten for the 3 days
- Remove gluten from your diet for 3 days
- Track your symptoms using symptom tracker, food journal/log
- Have you noted any symptoms? Observe and note
- If you have experienced any improvement in symptoms it means you should eliminate gluten from your diet for good
References: celiac.com, celiac.org, gluten.net, celiaccentral.org