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WHAT'S GLUTEN-FREE AND WHAT'S NOT
FOODS ALLOWED ON A GLUTEN-FREE DIET
Grains, Breads, Cereals, Pastas
Rice, corn, soy, arrowroot, potato, and tapioca-containing products. Breads may contain flour prepared from white or brown rice, potato, tapioca, arrowroot, pea, corn, or bean. Cereals include those from corn meal, millet, buckwheat, hominy, puffed rice, crisp rice, and cream of rice. Malt or malt flavoring derived specifically from corn. Pasta from rice, corn, and/or beans. Quinoa and Amaranth are fine.
Fresh, frozen, dried, or canned products whose labels indicate they are free of thickening agents. (Thickening agents often contain wheat flour).
Fresh, frozen, dried, or canned fruits.
Fresh, frozen, and canned meats.
All aged hard cheeses. Pasteurized processed cheeses including cottage cheese and cream cheese, and also ice cream that is free of gluten stabilizers. Most children with celiac disease tolerate milk sugar (lactose)-containing milk and yogurt soon after starting a gluten-free diet.
Many but not all salad dressings are gluten-free. Apple, wine and rice vinegars are generally acceptable.
Drinks and Juices
Freshly brewed coffee, tea, chocolate made from powdered cocoa, carbonated drinks, and juices made from fresh fruit.
Condiments and Additives
Soy sauce that does not contain wheat or barley. There is no evidence that FDA-approved food colorings or monosodium glutamate (MSG) are harmful to persons with celiac disease. Hydrolyzed or textured soy and corn vegetable protein. Corn malt. Starch (raw or modified from arrowroot, corn or maize, potato, and tapioca). Vegetable gum from carob, locust bean, cellulose gum, guar gum, gum arabic, gum acacia, gum tragacanth, xanthan gum.
FOODS NOT ALLOWED:
Grains, Breads, Cereals, Pastas
Anything made with or containing wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt and kamut, triticale. Breads or cereals containing wheat starch contain small amounts of gluten; as do cereals and crackers containing wheat and oat bran, graham, wheat germ, and bulgar. Cereals or breads containing malt flavoring of unspecified origin. Regular spaghetti, macaroni, and noodles. Most packaged rice mixes such as Rice-a-roni.
Products containing thickening agents which may utilize food starches and stabilizers with gluten. (Thickening agents often contain wheat flour).
As with vegetables, avoid prepared fruits containing thickening agents found in fruit pie fillings.
Prepared meats including luncheon meats, sausages, and canned meats containing grain and starch fillers with gluten. Self-basting turkey and other fowl often contain fillers with gluten. Fresh ground meats containing "Oattrim"or "LeanMaker".
Cheese foods including spreads, soft cheeses, and dips often contain gluten. Some ice creams may contain gluten ice cream stabilizers.
Salad dressings containing grain vinegars including distilled, white vinegar or if the type of vinegar is not stated. Some contain emulsifiers and stabilizers with gluten.
Drinks and Juices
Some brands of flavored coffee, herbal tea, and instant cocoa mixes, including malted milk. Grain-derived drinks including Postum and Ovaltine.
Condiments and Additives
Many soy sauces contain gluten. Products with grain vinegar including catsup and mustard. Soups or broths containing bouillon. Unspecified texturized or hydrolyzed vegetable protein, vegetable gum from oats and any other product containing an unspecified flour or cereal additive. Barley malt. Wheat starch. Caramel candy may contain gluten. Read labels on margarine to check for flour additives. Flavorings made with alcohol. Some spray coatings for "non-stick" uses have unspecified ingredients added.
Potential harmful ingredients include:
·modified food starch
·hydrolyzed vegetable protein-HVP
·hydrolyzed plant protein-HPP
·texturized vegetable protein-TVP
·binders, fillers, excipients, extenders
· malt & other natural flavorings
Gluten may also be used as a binder in some pharmaceutical products. Request clarification from food and drug manufacturers when necessary.
Alcohol and vinegar that are properly distilled should not contain any harmful gluten peptides (or prolomines). Research indicates that the gluten peptide is too large to carry over in the distillation process. This leaves the resultant liquid gluten-free unless a gluten-containing additive is inserted after the distillation process. Alcohols and vinegars should be carefully investigated for additives before use. Malt vinegars are not distilled and therefore are not gluten-free.
When using any commercial food product, the list of ingredients must be read carefully. Although ingredients are listed in order of decreasing content, any product containing even the smallest amount of gluten must be avoided. Any ingredient of unspecified grain origin should be assumed to contain gluten. Food manufacturers are generally willing to provide additional information about their products beyond what is listed on the label. Most labels have addresses of the manufacturers and many even have a toll-free telephone number. Similarly, some restaurants have ingredient lists for their products, either posted within the restaurant or available upon request.
Medications must also be checked. Fillers and excipients can be wheat-based. Example: Cough medicines often contain alcohol which could be derived from grain.
Which grains are safe, which are not?
The common list of forbidden grains is: wheat, rye, barley and oats. Unfortunately, there are variants out there that go by other names. Durum and semolina are names for certain kinds of wheat that have been bred for specific uses. Both spelt and kamut are versions of wheat. (Other names for these: spelta, Polish wheat, einkorn and small spelt). Bulgur is wheat that's been specially processed. Triticale, a grain crossbred from wheat and rye, is definitely on the toxic list.
Though corn (maize) is one of those grains that many people -- not just celiacs -- may be allergic to, it is not a grain that is thought to cause damage to the villi in celiacs. It is tolerated by most celiacs.
Of the common grains, rice is the favorite as it rarely troubles anyone.
Aside from corn and rice, there is a wide variety of other grains that are used in gluten-free cooking. We even use beans and peas (legumes, pulses).
The following can be milled into flour: amaranth*, buckwheat* (or kasha), chickpeas (garbanzos), Job's tears (Hato Mugi, Juno's Tears, River Grain), lentils, millet*, peas, quinoa*, ragi, sorghum, soy, tapioca, teff*, and wild rice. Many of these flours are available in health food stores. Some (like rice flour) may be available in grocery stores. (The products marked with an "*" are listed as grains to avoid by some physicians and celiac societies. See the discussion below about anectodal evidence and possible contamination of flours for more information.)
To improve the texture of gluten-free baked goods, most cooks use one or more of the following: xanthan gum, guar gum (though this sometimes has a laxative effect), methylcellulose, or a new product called Clear Gel. These can be obtained either through health food stores, specialty cook's stores, or some of the mail order sources listed below.
Oils popular in cooking include: corn, peanut, olive, rapeseed (canola), safflower, soy, and sunflower.
Which alcoholic beverages are safe?
Wine, rum, tequila, and sake are usually safe as their alcohols do not generally come from toxic grains. Some vodkas are also okay. However, as with any other ingested product, you should gauge your reaction and learn as much about your favored brands as possible.
Grain alcohols are one of those controversial items. While the distillation process should leave no room for glutens to wind up in the end product, many celiacs do report problems with ingestion. (One theory is that some of the original "mash" may be added back in at the end of the process for flavor. This is worth researching with the manufacturer of your favorite product.)
Many liquors are made with grain alcohol and so may be suspect. Whiskey, bourbon, gin and rye are definitely off the list, since they are made with rye and barley. Beer, too, must be avoided, since malt (usually from barley) is an ingredient. Even rice beers use malt.
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