Monday, December 17, 2012

What you need to know about gluten (Part 2)

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in the previous post I discussed What you need to know about gluten (Part 1) about gluten, celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and when you should go for gluten- free diet. In this post I’ll talk about the gluten-free diet.

Gluten free diet
Is the only current treatment for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. It's based on eliminating all sources of gluten from your diet which naturally exist in many staple food. You may feel like this will be a punishment or even very depriving diet, but the good news is that you are already eat a lot of naturally free-gluten food.

Gluten-free Natural food:
These are food items that are naturally free of gluten: Fresh Meat and poultry, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes and seeds, and fats & oils

Food containing gluten

  • Wheat and everything made from wheat like flour, pasta, noodles, bulgar , semolina, bread, cake, pies, candies, pancakes, waffles, breaded mix products, bread crumbs, crackers and pretzels, cookies, doughnuts, pies and pastries ..etc.  
  • Wheat varieties such as Spelt & Kamut and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye).
  • Barley. 
  • Rye.

Hidden Sources of gluten:
Some food that normally didn’t contain gluten but manufactures adds gluten because it works like stabilizing and thickening agent, these are some of them:
  • Soy sauce.
  • Ketchup.
  • Marinades.
  • Mustard (maybe contain undistilled vinegar).
  • White pepper and dry mustard (they have gluten to prevent caking.
  • Vinegars  (white one must be distilled, malt vinegars should be avoided).
  • Gravies & Sauces made with flour,
  • Some fries especially the one that made in restaurants.
  • Chocolate sauces, fruit pie fillings (maybe contain starch).
  • Non-food products like Medications and vitamin supplements, stamps , glue, envelope, spray starch.
  • Some cosmetics and hair products.
  • Malt flavorings & colors like caramel color are often made from barley malt, maltodextrin sugars, could be made from wheat.
Cross contamination
This happens when some products were manufactured in places that may interfere with wheat or any other gluten sources like oats. I advise you to choose the oat that is labeled gluten- free. Using toaster for wheat bread and gluten free bread is one of the major cross contamination, utensil and working surface should be cleaned thoroughly when using gluten products. Makeup, soaps , shampoos and hair products contain gluten that you will not ingest, but they will be in the air or on your skin,  touching your mouth or nose might cause it to inter your body.

Dining out with gluten free diets
Preferably, go for restaurants that serve gluten-free dishes. If you want to choose an item on menu that not labeled gluten-free, asks the waiter about the cross contamination possibilities (usage of utensil, deep fryers, and toasters) and ask if they use any packaged mix for your meals or any ready to use marinades and sauces.   

Can celiac disease (CD) or gluten sensitivity ruin your life?
Unfortunately, there is no cure till now for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. The only current treatment is eliminating gluten from your diet. Being diagnosed with (CD) or (GS) doesn’t mean the end of the world. I know it’s easy to say this when you are not sick, but this is a life-time challenge, and you should try to accept it. As a dietitian, I advise you to do the following:  

        Limit the intake of processed food, because it has many flavorings, additives and stabilizing or thickening agent, that may derive from wheat or its derivatives. It’s not safe unless it’s as labeled gluten-free products.
        Support yourself with friends and family, look for community support group.
        Seek help from registered dietitian(RD) so it will help you choose food items.
         Educate yourself and read about latest researches about gluten.
        look for recipes so you don’t feel bored of same recipes (preferably RD  blogs &websites).
        Avoid cross contamination.

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