Gluten is a family of proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and spelt.
Its name comes from the Latin word for “glue,” as it gives the flour a sticky consistency when mixed with water. This glue-like property helps gluten create a sticky network that gives bread the ability to rise when baked.
A gluten-free diet (GFD) is a diet that strictly excludes glutenA gluten-free diet involves excluding foods that contain the protein gluten, including wheat, rye, and barley.
A gluten-free diet help in treating:
– Irritable bowel syndrome
– Rheumatoid arthritis
-HIV enteropathy, among others
-Gluten-free diets have also been promoted as an alternative treatment of people with autism.
A gluten-free diet should be mainly based on naturally gluten-free foods with a good balance of micro and macronutrients: meat, fish, eggs, milk and dairy products, legumes, nuts, fruits, vegetables, potatoes, rice, and corn are all appropriate components of such a diet. Pseudocereals (quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat) and some minor cereals are healthy alternatives to these prepared products and have high biological and nutritional value. Furthermore, they contain protein of higher nutritional quality than those of wheat, and in greater quantities.
Why gluten is bad for some people?
People with gluten intolerance or celiac disease cannot tolerate it. People with other disorders like wheat allergy and non-celiac gluten sensitivity also frequently avoid gluten.
Unfortunately, this attack also damages surrounding areas, such as the gut wall. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies, severe digestive issues, and anemia, as well as increase the risk of many harmful diseases, People with celiac disease often experience sharp stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, skin rashes, stomach discomfort, bloating, weight loss, anemia, tiredness, and depression.
Foods to Avoid:
Completely avoiding gluten can be challenging. This is because it is found in many common ingredients that are added to foods.
These are the main sources of gluten in the diet: Wheat-based foods like wheat bran, wheat flour, spelt, durum, Kamut, semolina, Barley, Rye, Triticale, Malt, Brewer’s yeast.
Foods to Eat:
The following foods are naturally gluten-free:
Meats and Fish – All meats and fish, except battered or coated meats.
Eggs – All types of eggs are naturally gluten-free.
Dairy – Plain dairy products, such as plain milk, plain yogurt, and cheeses. However, flavored dairy products may have added ingredients that contain gluten, so you will need to read the food labels.
Fruits and Vegetables – All fruits and vegetables are naturally free of gluten.
Grains – Quinoa, rice, buckwheat, tapioca, sorghum, corn, millet, amaranth, arrowroot, teff, and oats (if labeled gluten-free).
Starches and Flours – Potatoes, potato flour, corn, corn flour, chickpea flour, soy flour, almond meal/flour, coconut flour, and tapioca flour.
Nuts and Seeds – All nuts and seeds.
Spreads and Oils – All vegetable oils and butter.
Herbs and Spices – All herbs and spices.
Beverages – Most beverages, except for beer (unless labeled as gluten-free).
If you’re ever unsure if a food item contains gluten, it’s best to read the food labels. A gluten-free diet has plenty of options. This allows you to create a variety of healthy and delicious.
Gluten Free Foods:
Fruit, Vegetables and Legumes
- Bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
- Green beans
- Pak choi/bok choy
- Soya beans
- Zucchini / courgettes
Meats, Poultry, Fish and Meat Free Substitutes
- Ensure items are not breaded or battered
- Cold cuts/sandwich meat as long as they are not breaded or glazed but check the label
- Mince meat
- Shellfish and molluscs
Cereals, Grains, Breads, Biscuits, Pasta, Nuts and Cakes
- Gluten free cereals
- Gluten free oats
- Buckwheat groats / Kasha
- Chia seeds
- Corn / maize
- Gluten-free oats
- Nut flours
- Porridge oats
- Seeds e.g. flaxseed, pumpkin, poppy sesame, sunflower
Condiments, Dips, Desserts, Sweets, Sweeteners and Spreads
- Coconut oil
- French mustard
- Ground pepper
- Olive oil
- Rice pudding
- Sesame oil
- Sorbet Syrup
- Tapioca pudding
- Gluten-free beer
- Almond milk
- Fruit juices
- Sodas/fizzy drinks e.g. Coca-cola, Pepsi, lemonade
- Spirits such as rum. Certain spirits such as whisky and vodka are distilled so most can tolerate
- Cheese except for blue cheese
- Sour cream
Cooking ingredients, herbs and Spices
- Gluten free flour
- Baking powder
- Bicarbonate of soda
- Cream of tartar
- Potato flour
- Rice flour
- Soya flour
Herbs e.g. basil, coriander, lemongrass, oregano, rosemary, thyme
Spices e.g. allspice, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, nutmeg, paprika.