Wheat and Gluten Free Foods - How to eat wheat and gluten Free.
What is Gluten and Why Eliminate it From Your Diet?
Gluten is a mixture of proteins that is combined with starch in many grains. It is responsible for the "chewiness" of many of the bread products that we eat every day.
Gliadin is one of the proteins in gluten that seems to cause the most trouble. When it gets into your body, it may cause an allergic reaction that leads to inflammation. In extrememe cases, celiac disease may result. However many people may be sensitive (non-celiac gluten sensitive NCGS) to gluten and experience barely to highly noticeable low-grade inflammation which manifests as gas, bloating, skin irritations, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, fatigue and depression.. Many times these discomforts are minor and can be accepted as a normal part of life. If the discomforts however are not acceptable because the quality of life is diminished, eating wheat and gluten free can help.
The following table shows foods that are free from gluten and those that contain gluten.
Barley, Barley Malt and Extract
Buckwheat is not a grain - it is a nut that can be used as a grain. A small amount of gluten is present.
Corn may cause other allergies
Chick Pea Flour
Legume flours - bean/lentil/garbanzo
Avenin in oats is a problem for Celiacs
Potato flour and starch
Matzo flour or meal
Rice bran and flour
Wheat- all types (germ,bran, germ, glutten, durum, starch,
Many pre-packaged foods, be especially wary of soups, deserts, beverages, candy and condiments*
Some gluten free grains have been milled with those using wheat and gluten so cross contamination will occur.
*Hidden sources include malt beverages, hydrolyzed vegetable protein HVP, HPP and soy sauce
Other sources of gluten that may be overlooked
The following foods and bevarages contain gluten or trace amounts off gluten:
- Beers and other Lagers
- Brown Rice Syrup
- Coating mix
- Communion Wafers (at church)
- Luncheon Meats
- Prepared Sauces
- Imitation Baking and seafood
- Soy Sauce
- Prepared marinades
- Prescription medications
- Cosmetics - lip balms, glosses and lipstick
Many of the gluten free items will be familiar such as rice and corn - follow these guidelines to create alternatives when baking and cooking. Keeping a quantity of ready mixed flours you have blended yourself in your pantry will make it easier for you to have things on hand when you want to bake. Rmember, if you are cooking for a celiac, cross contamination can be serious for them so try to use separate and clean utensils.
- For baked goods equal parts of brown rice flour, potato flour and tapioca starch simulate the consistency of flour
- Cook whole grains in a rice cooekr. Just use the grain to water ration recommended on the instructions
- When substituting flours, each flour may require thickening agents. use corn flour or tapioca flour.
- Try quar gum, xanthum gum or a little extra gluten free baking powder to your flour mixes for better baking results.
- Add an extra egg to pancakes to improve texture if necessary
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