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What Does Gluten Free Mean?

Wikipedia defines a “Gluten-free diet” as a diet that excludes foods containing gluten. Gluten is a protein complex found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye and triticale. A gluten-free diet is the only medically accepted treatment for celiac disease.

But for those who don’t have celiac disease there are other benefits. According to an article on bistroMD, “Eliminating gluten, and eating a gluten-free diet can help reduce your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and other health-related conditions, like diabetes, if you have a gluten intolerance. “A gluten-free diet can also help your body ward off viruses and germs, just because many of the foods you eat will be full of antioxidants, and essential vitamins and minerals.”

There are foods that are allowed and not-allowed on a Gluten-Free diet. Here’s part of a list from the Mayo Clinic.

Allowed foods Beans, seeds, nuts in their natural, unprocessed form Fresh eggs Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated) Fruits and vegetables Most dairy products It’s important to make sure that they are not processed or mixed with gluten-containing grains, additives or preservatives.

Also approved grains like: Amaranth Arrowroot Buckwheat Corn and cornmeal Flax Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean) Hominy (corn) Millet Quinoa Rice Sorghum Soy Tapioca Teff

Now to the bad stuff: Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley) Rye Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye) Wheat

Here are other wheat products to avoid: Beer Breads Cakes and pies Candies Cereals Cookies and crackers Croutons French fries Gravies Imitation meat or seafood Matzo Pastas Processed luncheon meats Salad dressings Sauces, including soy sauce Seasoned rice mixes Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips Self-basting poultry Soups and soup bases Vegetables in sauce

So as you can see, going Gluten-Free is a huge commitment. But with the amount of “gluten-free” products on the market today, there are a lot of options. I like the idea of cutting out the processed foods. That will improve your life!