Nowadays, gluten-free (GF) foods have become quite popular. There are gluten-free options at bakeries, grocery stores and restaurants. However, is this just a temporary fad, or there is something more to it? Well, consuming gluten is a problem if you have gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein which can be found in grains like:

  • Couscous
  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Udon
  • Durum
  • Graham
  • Barley
  • Bran
  • Semolina
  • Panko
  • Orzo
  • Possibly oats (because of cross-contamination)
  • Bulgur

The Difference between Gluten Intolerance and Gluten Sensitivity

People who don’t have the necessary amounts of enzymes which are required to break down the gluten protein are gluten intolerant. However, it is still being researched which enzymes in particular cause this, and about any possible treatments.

People who are gluten intolerant usually experience excessive gas, diarrhea, fatigue and low energy, malnutrition and dehydration. When gluten is ingested by someone who is intolerant or sensitive, it causes an inflammatory response that causes damage to the intestinal lining of the gut, thus causing malabsorption of nutrients.

Gluten sensitivity happens when a person who is sensitive consumes gluten repeatedly. Some symptoms are migraines, behavior difficulties in children with ADHS, cognitive brain fog, chronic digestive issues like diarrhea, constipation, IBD, IBS, excessive gas, skin issues like atopic dermatitis, eczema and acne, joint pain, water retention, weight gain and low energy.

Tests for IgG, an immune system antibody:

  • In Vitro (in a lab) – blood sample from a finger prick
  • In vivo (on-in the body)- energetic tests or muscle testing

Energetic tests, applied kinesiology and muscle testing are controversial. There are also a number of energetic tests which measure the response which the person has on possible food trigger, gluten.

The current IgG tests are often unreliable, so till they become more reproducible and accurate, there is a more practical approach, which will be discussed further down in this article.

Celiac disease can be diagnosed with the help of the following tests:

  • Anti-endomysial antibody (EMA-IgA)
  • Anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG-IgA)
  • Deamidated gliadin peptide antibody (DGP-IgA)
  • Endoscopic biopsy of injured tissue
  • Anti-gliadin antibody (AGA-IgA)

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease of the small intestine and it is presented by both loss of microvilli and inflammatory conditions.

Autoimmunity is when the antibodies and the molecules of the body start to attack their own cells. Autoimmunity can take various forms, including:

  • Addison’s disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Graves’ disease
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Psoriasis
  • Multiple sclerosis

 

Gluten Can Also Be Found In These Foods

Gluten can be found in various processes products, flavorings, seasonings and foods like:

  • Bree, ales, candies, brown rice syrup, broth, deli meats, imitation meats, sauces, balms, lipsticks, marinades and balms.

Gluten-Free Foods

  • Corn meal
  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Quinoa
  • Cornstarch
  • Buckwheat
  • Rice bran
  • Tapioca
  • Flax
  • Millet
  • Corn bran
  • Potatoes
  • Soy
  • Legumes (pea, lentil, garfava, chickpea and bean)
  • Corn flour

Since Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity have become very frequent, so it is easy to find foods which are gluten-free.

  • Gluten-free options can be found in the frozen food section or in the health food aisle of any supermarket.
  • Bob’s Red Mill have every type of gluten-free baking mix or flour. They can be found in the aisle with baked goods at most supermarkets.
  • There are gluten-free flours, pancake mixes, baked good mixes, and powdered soup mixes and the Bulk Barn.

Best Options for Gluten-Free Foods

Asian Styled Restaurants

  • Indian Food- vegetable and rice dishes
  • Sushi- stay away from tempura
  • Noodle Houses- there are rice noodles and noodle bowls
  • Chinese food- vegetables and rice
  • Korean Barbecue

Mediterranean

  • Fish
  • Steak House- fish, chicken or meat with vegetable or baked potato
  • Greek- potatoes, Greek salad, rice, souvlaki

Organic Restaurants

Fresh- there are various dairy-free and gluten-free options

Test yourselves at Home like This

An effective test for food sensitivities, including gluten is the Hypo-Allergenic Diet. This diet is also known as Elimination or Oligoantigenic diet.

What you need to do is stay away from ingredients which cause digestive issues and inflammation.

The Top 5 Offenders Are:

  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Soy

However, some of these foods are highly nutritious, so if you don’t have any food sensitivity, continue consuming them.

What you need to keep in mind as well is that not all foods which are gluten-free are healthy. Avoid canned, packaged, deep fried and processed foods. Moreover, avoid dried and dehydrated foods since they contain preservatives and added sugars. Fresh and raw is the best choice for perfect health.

A thorough elimination and then re-introduction can be difficult. You will need 6 to 8 weeks on this diet. Also, you will have to plan your meals and you will need all the support from your family as well.

Re-introduction Schedule

  • Eliminate gluten completely for 3 days and see how you feel
  • Consume 3 gluten servings on the 4th day
  • If there is no alternation in symptoms, be patient for a few days while eating other foods
  • However, if there is an aggravation, stay away from gluten for 30 days and start gradually incorporating it in your diet

Source: Gluten Free Society

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