Anyone can have celiac disease or gluten insensitivity; some people experience mild symptoms and others more severe ones.
The breadth of symptoms, from bloating to joint pain to infertility, make gluten sensitivity difficult to diagnose with standard tools. Understanding how to avoid the foods that cause celiac and other gluten-related disorders may provide you with the answers–and the relief–you seek.
If you have any of these celiac symptoms, make sure you eat gluten-free, non-cross-contaminated food–and learn how to read food labels. The gluten intolerance support groups – The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and the Celiac Sprue Association – have developed reliable certification programs with easy to identify labels that help such as this one.
However, not all gluten-free foods have this label, so it is important to have a comprehensive awareness of the foods that are really gluten-free. Here are a few links that can help: You can visit, http://www.glutenfreeresourcedirectory.com/ for a list of gluten free foods, recipes and cooking tips, http://www.celiaccentral.org/Gluten-Free-Food/ and even tax deductions for eating gluten free, http://www.celiaccentral.org/shopping/tax-deduction-guide-for-gluten-free-products/ . The medicine you take may also contribute to Celiac disease, http://www.celiaccentral.org/Resources/Gluten-in-Medications/111/.
When reading labels, be aware that “Wheat free” does not necessarily mean gluten-free. There are other grains and foods that should also be avoided on a gluten-free diet:
Oats (Oats have no gluten, but are often cross-contaminated. A brand like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free is okay, but if oats show up as an ingredient in a list, best to stay away.)
Malt and any malt flavor, malt vinegar
Any wheat by another name: Durum, graham, kamut, semolina and spelt or faro
Soy sauce – it usually includes wheat Seitan is “wheat meat”
Matzoh and matzoh meal
Ingredients that are used to create foods are important too.In general, these ingredients and products will be no-nos, but there may be specialty products or certain brands that are okay. If you aren’t sure, call or email the manufacturer:
Natural and artificial flavors
Vegetarian protein sources, vegetable starch, Hydrolyzed plant protein/HPP
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein/HVP
Beer, ale, or lager
Flavored coffees and teas
Broth or soup, gravies, marinades
Imitation and cured products, like seafood, deli meats or hot dogs
Naturally gluten-free foods can be contaminated if they mix with gluten-containing foods, so check your kitchen and revise accordingly. For example, if you use a knife to make a sandwich and double dip, the sauce, jam or butter is not gluten-free anymore. You will need separate, dedicated kitchen tools and foods, and to make sure the items are thoroughly washed:
Sponges – pay extra special attention whenwiping down counters, refrigerators, stoves and ovens
It is also wise to use separate condiments and recipe ingredients from those used by gluten-consuming members of the household.
Foods that are gluten free, including grains and flours
- Unprocessed nuts/seeds, legumes and beans
- Fruits and vegetables
- Fresh meat, eggs, fish and poultry
- Natural dairy products with no additives or preservatives
Gluten free living is not easy, but it has come a long way and become far easier. Learning the “how to” takes a little time and experience, but can improve your quality of life and make it more enjoyable. Live a delicious and healthy gluten free life!
Gluten-Free Living 101 by Valerie Berkowitz in the July/August 2013 issue of CarbSmart Magazine.
Anyone can have celiac disease or gluten insensitivity; some people experience mild symptoms and others more severe ones. The breadth of symptoms, from bloating to joint pain to infertility, make gluten sensitivity difficult to diagnose with standard tools. Understanding how to avoid the foods that cause celiac and other gluten-related disorders may provide you with the answers – and the relief – you seek. Learn more about this topic by reading the full article in the July 2013 issue of CarbSmart Magazine available in iTunes.
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