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Gluten

 

Gluten is a protein found in grains, particularly in wheat, rye, and barley. Some oats may contain gluten due to contamination during processing. The following table lists some of the other flours, cereals, and starches that contain gluten:

 

White flour

Einkorn

Emmer

Spelt

Kamut

Wheat starch, bran, germ

Bulgur

Matzo meal

Cracked wheat

Hydrolyzed wheat protein

Semolina

Self-rising flour

Triticale

Durum flour

Enriched flour

Farina

Graham flour

Phosphated flour

 

 WHY GO GLUTEN-FREE?

Gluten-free diets are very specific and are recommended for people with celiac disease, also known as non-tropical sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy. When a person with celiac disease ingests gluten, it causes inflammation and damage to the lining of the small intestine. This can cause diarrhea, upset stomach, abdominal pain, fatigue, joint pain, and bloating.

 

Following a strict gluten-free diet can help control the signs and symptoms of celiac disease and is the only treatment possible. It can take anywhere from a few months (in children) to a few years (in adults) to heal the small intestine.

 

 

WHAT CAN I EAT?

While there are many strict guidelines to following a gluten-free diet, it is crucial to stay positive and focus on the many options of foods you can eat. Many restaurants are now offering gluten-free options. Also, many companies have created gluten-free products in the groceries stores. Bob’s Red Mill, Betty Crocker, Amy’s, and General Mills are just a few examples that offer these products.

 

The following table lists some of the flours, grains, and starches that are allowed on a gluten-free diet.

 

Amaranth

Rice Bran

Polenta

Arrowroot

Sago

Hominy grits

Buckwheat

Sorghum

Quinoa

Corn/Corn meal

Soy

Rice Polish

Flax

Sweet Potato Flour

Potato Starch/Flour

Legume flours

Nut flours

Wild Rice

Millet

Tapioca

Tef

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE CELIAC DISEASE?

If you feel you are experiencing symptoms of celiac disease, it is important to get tested. Your physician can order a blood test checking for high levels of the antibodies tTGA (anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies) or EMA (anti-endomysium antibodies) as well as a genetic test. If blood tests suggest that you have celiac disease then a biopsy of the small intestine will be taken to confirm that there has been damage. It is important to be consuming a diet containing gluten before having blood work completed or else the test can show up falsely negative.

 

If you do not have celiac disease but you have symptoms of the disease, you may be gluten-sensitive. Your body may be reacting to processed foods, some of which contain gluten. The following table contains a list of some more common processed foods that may contain gluten.

 

Bouillon cubes

French Fries

Brown rice syrup

Gravy

Season tortilla chips

Self-basting turkey

Candy

Imitation fish

Soups

Chips

Matzo

Soy Sauce

Communion wafers

Rice mixes

Cold cuts

Hot dogs

Salami

Sausage

 

Whether you have celiac disease or you are gluten-sensitive, it is important to meet with a Registered Dietitian to ensure that you are on the correct diet for your specific condition.

 

References

  1. Nutrition and Healthy Eating. Mayo Clinic Web site. Available at: http://www. mayoclinic.com/ health/gluten-free-diet/MY01140. Accessed September 8, 2011.
  2. Celiac Disease. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/ #why. Accessed September 8, 2011.
  3. Celiac Disease – Sprue. Pub Med Health Web site. Available at: http://www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmedhealth/PMH0001280/. Accessed September 8, 2011.

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