Gluten Free Foods
No matter where you've been over the last few years, you've heard about gluten and gluten-free diets. They are beneficial for some, but why? And what is gluten anyway? This article will address all of this, so you can understand if a gluten-free diet is for you.
To Gluten or Not To Gluten?
Many won't be able to tell you that gluten is a protein.
Gluten In Our Diets
Wheat is commonly found in:
- baked goods
- salad dressings
- malt (malted barley flour, malted milk and milkshakes, malt extract, malt syrup, malt flavouring, malt vinegar)
- food colouring
- Brewer’s Yeast
- rye bread, such as pumpernickel
- rye beer
Sufferers experience gastrointestinal complaints such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Unintentional weight loss
How Can I Test To See If I have Celiac Disease?
- Take a blood test, which will look for antibodies that incorrectly interact with the gluten protein.
But What About Those Who Are Not Celiac?
And others with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) avoid gluten, reporting it helps with symptoms.
Gluten-free For a Better Mood?
Exactly why though isn't known.
Three randomised-controlled trials and 10 longitudinal studies comprising 1139 participants fitted the inclusion criteria in the above link, which found a gluten-free diet significantly improved pooled depressive symptom scores in gluten-free diet-treated patients.
- 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, flavoured 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 labelled as gluten-free).
Lebwohl B, Ludvigsson JF, Green PH. Celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. BMJ 2015;351:h4347.
Aybar A, Fasano A. A global disease: the iceberg dilemma. In Real Life with Celiac Disease. Dennis M, Leffler D, Eds. Bethesda, Md., AGA Press, 2010, p. 11–19.
Leffler DA, Green PH, Fasano A. Extraintestinal manifestations of coeliac disease. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 2015;12:561–571.
Busby E, Bold J, Fellows L, Rostami K. Mood Disorders and Gluten: It's Not All in Your Mind! A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis. Nutrients. 2018;10(11):1708. Published 2018 Nov 8. doi:10.3390/nu10111708
Lebwohl B, Rubio-Tapia A, Assiri A, Newland C, Guandalini S. Diagnosis of celiac disease. Gastrointest Endosc Clin N Am. 2012;22(4):661-677. doi:10.1016/j.giec.2012.07.004