Gluten Free Diet

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Info on GlutenFree Diets

Do I have a Gluten Intolerance?

Diseases/Disorders associated with Gluten

More Gluten Related Conditions

Hidden Sources of Gluten

Removing gluten from the diet is not easy. Wheat, barley and rye flours are used in the preparation of many foods. It is often hard to tell by an ingredient's name what may be in it, so it is easy to eat gluten without even knowing it (see Hidden Sources of Gluten). However, staying on a strict gluten-free diet can dramatically improve certain conditions. Since it is necessary to remain on the gluten-free diet throughout life, it will be helpful to review it with a registered dietitian.

Oat is a grain that merits special attention. Oats are believed safe in patients with celiac disease or other wheat or gluten intolerances although this was not always the case so you will find it listed in many acticles as not safe for gluten intolerant. The problem with oat products is not the grain but rather the manufacturing process. When oats are processed in the same facilities as wheat, contamination can occur even with the best cleaning protocol. Oat products can now be found that are not cross contaminated. It is best to avoid them when first begining a gluten free diet then reintroduce them after a few months to see if they are well tolerated. Most, but not all patients can tolerate pure oat products.

The gluten-free diet must not only be strictly followed by sufferers of celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis. Some medical practitioners also believe the diet may be helpful for persons with multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders, as well as autism spectrum disorders, Asperger syndrome,  ADHD, PDD and some behavioural problems.
One well-controlled study examined the effect of a strict casein-free and gluten-free diet on children with autism. The experimental group were fed the diet for 12 months. During that period the children had significantly fewer autistic symptoms than the control children, who were not fed the diet.

The person who prepares the food must fully understand the gluten-free diet. Read food labels carefully.

  • Do not eat anything that contains the following grains: wheat, rye, and barley.
  • The following can be eaten in any amount: corn, potato, rice, soybeans, tapioca, arrowroot, carob, buckwheat, millet, sorghum, amaranth and quinoa.
  • Distilled white vinegar does not contain gluten.
  • Malt vinegar does contain gluten.

Grains are used in the processing of many ingredients, so it will be necessary to seek out hidden gluten. The following terms found in food labels may mean that there is gluten in the product.

  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP), unless made from soy or corn
  • Flour or Cereal products, unless made with pure rice flour, corn flour, potato flour, sorghum or soy flour
  • Vegetable Protein unless made from soy or corn
  • Malt or Malt Flavoring unless derived from corn
  • Modified Starch or Modified Food Starch unless arrowroot, corn, potato, tapioca, waxy maize, or maize is used
  • Vegetable Gum unless vegetable gums are carob bean gum, locust bean gum, cellulose gum, guar gum, gum arabic, gum aracia, gum tragacanth, xanthan gum, or vegetable starch
  • Soy Sauce or Soy Sauce Solids unless you know they do not contain wheat

Any of the following words on food labels usually means that a grain containing gluten has been used unless specifically stating which grain was used (ie: corn).

  • stabilizer
  • starch
  • flavoring
  • emulsifier
  • hydrolyzed plant protein

The following table is separated into food groups/types and what to watch out for in each group.

Food Group

Do Not Contain Gluten

May Contain Gluten

Contain Gluten

Milk & milk products

whole, low fat, skim, dry, evaporated, or condensed milk; buttermilk; cream; whipping cream; Velveeta cheese food; American cheese; all aged cheeses, such as Cheddar, Swiss, Edam, and Parmesan

sour cream commercial chocolate milk and drinks, non-dairy creamers, all other cheese products, yogurt

malted drinks

Meat or meat substitutes

100% meat (no grain additives); seafood; poultry (breaded with pure cornmeal, potato flour, or rice flour); peanut butter; eggs; dried beans or peas; pork

meat patties; canned meat; sausages; cold cuts; bologna; hot dogs; stew; hamburger; chili; commercial omelets, soufflés, fondue; soy protein meat substitutes

croquettes, breaded fish, chicken loaves made with bread or bread crumbs, breaded or floured meats, meatloaf, meatballs, pizza, ravioli, any meat or meat substitute, rye, barley, oats, gluten stabilizers

Breads & grains

cream of rice; cornmeal; hominy; rice; wild rice; gluten-free noodles; rice wafers; pure corn tortillas; specially prepared breads made with corn, rice, potato, soybean, tapioca arrowroot ,carob, buckwheat, millet, amaranth and quinoa flour; puffed rice

packaged rice mixes, cornbread, ready-to-eat cereals containing malt flavoring

breads, buns, rolls, biscuits, muffins, crackers, and cereals containing wheat, wheat germ, oats, barley, rye, bran, graham flour, malt; kasha; bulgur; Melba toast; matzo; bread crumbs; pastry; pizza dough; regular noodles, spaghetti, macaroni, and other pasta; rusks; dumplings; zwieback; pretzels; prepared mixes for waffles and pancakes; bread stuffing or filling

Fats & oils 

butter,margarine, vegetable oil, shortening, lard

salad dressings, non-dairy creamers, mayonnaise

gravy and cream sauces thickened with flour

Fruits

plain, fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruit; all fruit juices

pie fillings, thickened or prepared fruit, fruit fillings

none

Vegetables

fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables; white and sweet potatoes; yams

vegetables with sauces, commercially prepared vegetables and salads, canned baked beans, pickles, marinated vegetables, commercially seasoned vegetables

creamed or breaded vegetables; those prepared with wheat, rye, oats, barley, or gluten stabilizers

Snacks & desserts

brown and white sugar, rennet, fruit whips, gelatin, jelly, jam, honey, molasses, pure cocoa, fruit ice, popcorn, carob

custards, puddings, ice cream, ices, sherbet, pie fillings, candies, chocolate, chewing gum, cocoa, potato chips

cakes, cookies, doughnuts, pastries, dumplings, ice cream cones, pies, prepared cake and cookie mixes, pretzels, bread pudding

Beverages

tea, carbonated beverages (except root beer), fruit juices, mineral and carbonated waters, wines, instant or ground coffee

cocoa mixes, root beer, chocolate drinks, nutritional supplements, beverage mixes

Postum™, Ovaltine™, malt-containing drinks, cocomalt, beer, ale, gin, whiskey, rye

Soups

those made with allowed ingredients

commercially prepared soups, broths, soup mixes, bouillon cubes

soups thickened with wheat flour or gluten-containing grains; soup containing barley, pasta, or noodles

Thickening agents

gelatin, arrowroot starch; corn flour, corn germ or bran; potato flour; potato starch flour; rice bran and flour; rice polish; soy flour; tapioca, sago

wheat starch; all flours containing wheat, oats, rye, malt, barley, or graham flour; all-purpose flour; white flour; wheat flour; bran; cracker meal; durham flour; wheat germ

Condiments

glutent-free soy sauce, distilled white vinegar, olives, pickles, relish, ketchup

flavoring syrups (for pancakes or ice cream), mayonnaise, horseradish, salad dressings, tomato sauces, meat sauce, mustard, taco sauce, soy sauce, chip dips

Seasonings

salt, pepper, herbs, flavored extracts, food coloring, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, monosodium glutamate

curry powder, seasoning mixes, meat extracts

synthetic pepper, brewer's yeast (unless prepared with a sugar molasses base), yeast extract (contains barley)

Prescription products

all medicines: check with pharmacist or pharmaceutical company

There are now several companies that produce gluten-free products, even major food manufacturers are feeling the demand of providing gluten free options and changing the ingredients for certain products to satisfy customer demand. There are several support groups thoughout the contry and here in Florida to provide delicious recipes and help people adapt to the gluten-free diet.