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gluten facts & diets

The following information has been compiled from various web and volume resources. It is by no means comprehensive, but an abbridged primer on gluten.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a particular protein found in grains. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with this protein, in sensitive individuals, gluten can wreck havoc.

People with gluten sensitivity, often have common manifestations which can include:

  • Digestive issues like diarrhea- bloating- and stomach cramps, and/or,
  • Central nervous system reactions like muscle tightness-panic attacks- inability to concentrate-irritability-anger-depression and feeling overwhelmed,and/or,
  • Chronic rashes and/or,
  • Migraine headaches, and/or,
  • Arthritis

People with other autoimmune diseases often do substantially better on a gluten free diet (Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Hashimotos, Thyroidism, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis , etc)

People with Celiac Disease, however, must stay on a gluten free diet in order to avoid further damage to their intestinal lining, which forms increasingly more scar tissue as gluten is consumed. This prevents the body from absorbing vital nutrients, but with gluten free diligence, the intestines can heal.

For an easy to follow gluten free elimination diet, visit our blog GoodandGlutenFree and click on August 2010.

Although not life-threatening in the short run, none of these manifestations allow those with a gluten intolerance to function very well.

Foods can be divided into four basic categories:

  • proteins (which are all gluten free)
  • fruits and veggies (which are all gluten free)
  • oils (no problems here)
  • carbohydrates (here’s the gluten)

Where do you find it? Gluten can be found in:

  • Wheat
  • Couscous
  • Barley
  • Kamut
  • Rye
  • Semolina
  • Bulgur wheat
  • Spelt, as well as all foods made with some aspects of these grains

What can you eat instead?

The common carbohydrates that GLUTEN FREE are made from

  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Oats (often grown in fields next to wheat and can be contaminated)

Some other carbohydrates that are also GLUTEN FREE are:

  • Buckwheat Amaranth
  • Quinoa Millet
  • Tapioca Bean Flours
  • Sorghum

There are endless gluten free choices that are easy to obtain.

(Written by Arnel McAtee)

 

DIETS

Two widely used elimination diets:

Elimination Diet for GLUTEN
Elimination Diet for 11 COMMON ALLERGENS