Gluten is a protein found in many foods, including bread, pasta, pizza, and cereal. Gluten provides no essential nutrients.
People with the celiac disorder suffer from an immune reaction to gluten. Gluten-containing foods can cause inflammation and other damage to their intestinal tracts and other areas of the body. According to current estimates, this condition affects up to 1%. You will need to eat a gluten-free diet to eliminate the inflammation symptoms and get rid of celiac disease. Restaurants and grocery stores offer gluten-free foods comparable in quality and taste to conventional food. In years past, sticking to a gluten-free diet was more challenging.
Celiac disorder occurs when you consume gluten. This condition is also known as celiac disease, nontropical syndrome, and gluten-sensitive enteropathy.
Celiac disease occurs when someone eats gluten, and their body reacts too strongly to the protein, causing damage to their villi. These are tiny projections that look like fingernails and run along the walls of their small intestine.
Your small intestine cannot absorb nutrients properly from food if your villi become damaged. This can eventually lead to malnourishment, miscarriage, fertility problems, and neurological diseases.
Who should not eat gluten?
People with celiac disease should avoid illness and have better health by eating a gluten-free diet. A gluten-free diet is essential for them.
Some people are gluten-sensitive. Although their celiac disease tests are normal, symptoms such as bloating or diarrhoea can occur when they consume gluten-containing foods. A skin test can diagnose wheat allergy. For many others, however, the diagnosis is still uncertain. This condition is now being called non-celiac gluten Hypersensitivity (or NCH). It is a poorly understood condition that we still have much to learn.
People with celiac disease or wheat allergy should avoid gluten.
There are foods you can eat on a gluten-free diet.
Gluten-free diets allow for a variety of whole foods, including unprocessed food. Certain additives can make gluten-free food potentially dangerous for people with celiac disease.
Gluten is a group of proteins in certain grains like wheat, rye and barley.
It gives food elasticity and moisture, which helps it maintain its shape. It allows the bread to rise and gives it a chewy texture.
Gluten is safe for most people. However, people with celiac disease should avoid gluten to avoid adverse effects.
Many foods contain gluten-containing ingredients, and it is vital to ensure that people allergic to them do not eat them.
Below is a complete list of gluten free foods. These gluten free foods do not contain gluten in large quantities.
Some foods may be technically gluten-free, but they are processed in the same facility as gluten-containing food so that they may contain trace amounts of gluten.
It is essential to ensure that you read all labels if you have celiac disease or any other chronic condition. Only purchase gluten-free products.
List of gluten free foods
Only a few whole grains are gluten-free.
Whole grains should be checked for allergens before purchasing. Gluten-containing whole grains, even gluten-free ones, can become contaminated if processed in the same facility as gluten-containing food.
Oats can be cross-contaminated because they are processed in the same facilities as wheat. It would be best to verify that the oats purchased are gluten-free.
Gluten-free whole grains
- Brown rice
- Wild rice
- Gluten-free oatmeal
These gluten-containing grains are often used to make bread, crackers, pasta, cereals, biscuits, cakes, cookies, and other snack foods.
Avoid certain types of wheat
- Whole wheat
- Wheat berries
- Bromated flour
Vegetables and fruits
All fresh fruits and all vegetables are naturally gluten free foods. Some processed fruits and veggies may contain gluten, and this is because they are sometimes added to flavour or thickener.
Hydrolyzed wheat protein, modified starch and malt are some gluten-containing ingredients that can be added to processed vegetables and fruits.
The following list isn’t exhaustive, but it does provide some examples of fresh fruits or vegetables you can enjoy on gluten-free diets.
- Citrus fruits, such as grapefruit and oranges
- Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower
- Greens such as spinach and kale.
- Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, and squash are all included
- Bell peppers
- green beans
Double-check fruits and vegetables
- Canned fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables canned with natural juices or water are likely to be gluten-free.
- Frozen fruits or vegetables.
Most plain frozen varieties are gluten-free.
- Dried fruits, vegetables and other foods. Some might contain gluten-containing ingredients. Plain, unsweetened dried fruits and vegetables are generally gluten-free.
- Pre-chopped fruits or vegetables. This could be cross-contaminated by gluten, depending on where they were prepped.
Most fresh, unprocessed animal and plant proteins are naturally gluten-free.
Gluten-containing ingredients such as soya sauce, flour and malt vinegar can be used to flavour protein after it has been processed. These ingredients can be used in sauces, rubs and marinades that are often paired with protein sources. You can also add them to specific cold cuts.
- Lentils (beans and lentils, peas, beans, lentils, peas and peanuts)
- Nuts and seeds
- red meat (fresh beef and pork, lamb and bison).
- Fresh chicken, turkey
- seafood (fresh fish, scallops, shellfish)
- Unflavored soy foods (tofu and tempeh, edamame etc.)
Double-check protein labels
- Processed meats such as hot dogs and pepperoni, sausage, salami and bacon
- Vegetarian burgers are a good substitute for meat.
- Lunch meats and cold cuts
- ground meats
- Combinations of proteins with sauces and seasonings
- Ready-to-eat protein, such as the ones in TV dinners that can be microwavable
Avoid protein-rich foods
- Any meat, poultry, and fish that has been breaded
- Combinations of proteins with wheat-based soy sauce
Most dairy products contain no gluten. However, any flavoured or added ingredients should be checked for gluten
Thickeners, malt and modified food starch, are some of the most common gluten-containing ingredients you can add to dairy products .
Products made with gluten-free milk
- Butter and ghee
- cottage cheese
- Sour cream
Double-check dairy products
- Flavoured milk and yoghurts
- Cheese sauce spreads and other processed cheese products are available.
- Ice cream is often made with gluten-free additives.
Avoid dairy products
- malted milk drinks
Oils and fats
Oils and Fats are naturally gluten-free. Some additives may contain gluten and be added to fats and oils to flavour or thicken.
Oils and fats that are gluten-free
- Butter and ghee
- Olive oil and olive oils
- avocados and avocado oil
- Coconut oil
- Vegetable and seed oils include sesame oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil.
Double-check fats and oils
- cooking sprays
- Oils with additional flavours or spices
There are many gluten-free beverages that you can choose from.
Some beverages contain gluten-containing additives. Some alcoholic drinks contain malt, barley, or other gluten-containing ingredients and should be avoided if you are on a gluten-free diet.
Get gluten-free drinks
- 100% fruit juice
- Some alcoholic beverages include wine, hard ciders and beer made with gluten-free grains such as buckwheat and sorghum.
- Many energy drinks, including soda and sports drinks, are available. However, it is essential to read the labels for any additives.
These beverages can be enjoyed gluten-free. However, many of them should not be consumed in excess due to the added sugar or alcohol content.
- Any beverage that contains added flavours or mixes, such as premade coffee drinks or mixed beverages
- Distilled liquors such as vodka, Gin, and Whiskey can trigger reactions in some people, even if labelled gluten-free
- Premade smoothies
Avoid alcoholic beverages
- Beers, ales, and Lagers made with gluten-containing ingredients
- Non-distilled liquors
- Other malt beverages such as wine coolers are also available
Sauces, spices, and condiments
Many condiments, sauces and spices contain gluten, but they are often overlooked.
Many condiments, sauces and spices are gluten-free. However, some gluten-containing ingredients can be added to these products as flavour enhancers, stabilizers or emulsifiers.
Common gluten-containing ingredients in sauces, condiments, and spices include wheat starch, wheat flour and hydrolyzed wheat proteins.
Sauces, condiments, and spices that are gluten-free
- Coconut aminos
- White vinegar, distilled vinegar and Apple Cider Vinegar
Double-check condiments, sauces and spices
- Mustard and ketchup
- Worcestershire sauce
- tomato sauce
- Pickles and relish
- barbecue sauce
- salad dressing
- pasta sauce
- Dry spices
- Stock and Bouillon Cubes
- Gravy and stuffing mixtures
- rice vinegar
Avoid spices, sauces and condiments
- Teriyaki and soy sauce made from wheat
- malt vinegar
Ingredients to be on the lookout for
This list contains ingredients and additives that may indicate that the item includes gluten.
- Modified food starch, maltodextrin and wheat maltodextrin will be listed on the label if they are made from wheat
- Ingredients from malt, such as malt vinegar, malt extract and malt syrup, are all made with malt.
- gluten stabilizer
- Soy sauce or Teriyaki sauce
- Components made from wheat, such as wheat protein or wheat flour
- Emulsifiers (will be listed on the label).
Getting in touch with the manufacturer is a good idea for anyone unsure whether a product contains gluten.
Gluten-free diets can help with certain conditions
A gluten-free diet is recommended for those suffering from celiac disorder. This condition triggers an immune response when food containing gluten is consumed.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivities should be restricted as gluten can cause symptoms such as bloating, stomach pain and diarrhoea.
While more research is required, several studies suggest that a gluten-free diet may benefit those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This chronic condition causes stomach problems like gas, diarrhoea, and stomach pain.
Gluten-free diets can pose risks
Many nutritious foods contain gluten, including whole grains such as wheat, barley and rye.
Some processed gluten-free foods aren’t enriched with vitamins or minerals. A gluten-free diet lacking variety could lead to deficiencies of folate, iron, riboflavin and niacin.
Low fibre diets that are gluten-free tend to be healthier.
To reduce side effects, it is essential to ensure you get these nutrients from other sources.
You can avoid gluten by choosing from many foods to ensure you are eating a healthy diet. Many whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and dairy products, are naturally gluten-free. This includes fresh meats, fish, poultry, and other seafood. Gluten-free diets should avoid wheat, rye, barley, and other grains. Also, processed foods such as canned and boxed food are often contaminated with gluten. Some grains, like oats and barley, can be cross-contaminated by gluten depending on how they were processed. A gluten-free diet is possible if you double-check ingredient labels. Gluten can often be added to foods you don’t expect, and Gluten-containing foods will be identified.
However, it is possible to eat a gluten-free diet if you eat mostly fresh, whole, and gluten-free food.