April 2012 Update ~ Gluten Free Diet

I trust the information that I read on The Mayo Clinc website. They talk extensively about excluding gluten-from our diet. Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye).

While gluten has been found to cause mild allergic reactions in some people, it can lead to full-blown Celiac disease in others. Many people have found it beneficial to eliminate gluten from their diets, ranging from those with ADHD to those with auto-immune disorders.

Gluten-free diets have also been shown to be beneficial to those suffering from thyroid disease, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, anemia, autism, and irritable bowel syndrome. Eliminating gluten from the diet can also be of great benefit to those wishing to lose weight.
By eliminating gluten from your diet, it is also possible to increase your energy levels, lower bad cholesterol levels and even assist the body’s digestive processes.

Natural News is also a great place to learn more about gluten-free living.

With so many people eating gluten free, switching to a gluten-free diet isn’t as hard for me as I thought it would be!  There are a lot of gluten free foods in the health food section of the grocery store!  For some it is a big change and it takes some getting used to.

I took control of my eating a few years ago and so this isn’t difficult, it is actually pretty fun!  If you haven’t overcome your food issues, I suggest you see my partner, Dawn Silverstein.  She will help you settle your Love/Hate relationship with food.

If you’re not yet in command of your eating, you may initially feel deprived by the diet’s restrictions. However, try to stay positive and focus on all the foods you can eat. You may also be pleasantly surprised to realize how many gluten-free products, such as bread and pasta, are now available.

Many specialty grocery stores sell gluten-free foods and your regular grocery store probably has a health food section. If you can’t find them in your area, check with a Celiac support group or go online.

If you’re just starting with a gluten-free diet, it’s a good idea to consult a coach (that’s where Dawn Silverstein comes in) who can answer your questions and offer advice about how to avoid gluten while still eating a healthy, balanced diet.

The Mayo Clinic has the following list on their site:

Allowed foods
Many healthy and delicious foods are naturally gluten-free:
•    Beans, seeds, nuts in their natural, unprocessed form
•    Fresh eggs
•    Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
•    Fruits and vegetables
•    Most dairy products

It’s important to make sure that they are not processed or mixed with gluten-containing grains, additives or preservatives. Many grains and starches can be part of a gluten-free diet:
•    Amaranth
•    Arrowroot
•    Buckwheat
•    Corn and cornmeal
•    Flax
•    Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
•    Hominy (corn)
•    Millet
•    Quinoa
•    Rice
•    Sorghum
•    Soy
•    Tapioca
•    Teff

Always avoid
Avoid all food and drinks containing:
•    Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley)
•    Rye
•    Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
•    Wheat

Avoiding wheat can be challenging because wheat products go by numerous names. Consider the many types of wheat flour on supermarket shelves — bromated, enriched, phosphated, plain and self-rising. Here are other wheat products to avoid:
•    Bulgur
•    Durum flour
•    Farina
•    Graham flour
•    Kamut
•    Semolina
•    Spelt

Avoid unless labeled ‘gluten-free’

In general, avoid the following foods unless they’re labeled as gluten-free or made with corn, rice, soy or other gluten-free grain:
•    Beer
•    Breads
•    Cakes and pies
•    Candies
•    Cereals
•    Cookies and crackers
•    Croutons
•    French fries
•    Gravies
•    Imitation meat or seafood
•    Matzo
•    Pastas
•    Processed luncheon meats
•    Salad dressings
•    Sauces, including soy sauce
•    Seasoned rice mixes
•    Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
•    Self-basting poultry
•    Soups and soup bases
•    Vegetables in sauce

Certain grains, such as oats, can be contaminated with wheat during growing and processing stages of production. For this reason, doctors and dietitians generally recommend avoiding oats unless they are specifically labeled gluten-free.

You should also be alert for other products that you eat or that could come in contact with your mouth that may contain gluten. These include:
•    Food additives, such as malt flavoring, modified food starch and others
•    Medications and vitamins that use gluten as a binding agent
•    Play dough

I don’t have celiac disease, only MS.  I don’t know if living gluten-free will have any influence on my health, but it will be fun to see!

Have you tried a gluten-free diet?  What have you experienced?  I’d love to hear in the comments below!

Linda

About our Co-Founder: With a bachelors in Social Work, Linda is 53 years old, happily married with eight children and 17 grandchildren. Diagnosed with MS in 1995 and now having accepted and truly embraced her new reality, Linda has created MSrelief.com. She is dedicated to proving that joy can be chosen while living with Multiple Sclerosis. Linda specializes in helping others, especially those with MS attain the lifestyle, independence and happiness amid living with MS.

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    • Demetrius,
      Thanks~ I’m in my fourth month of gluten free living and I’m not feeling any differently! Honestly the food is great thanks to the companies that create it!
      ~Linda

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