Real Food. Healthy Fuel. For a Happy Life.

Gluten FAQs

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein composite, made up of two proteins  gliadin and glutenin and is most commonly found in wheat, rye and barley.

It is impossible for the human digestive system to digest gluten.

Why might I want to exclude gluten from my life?

Gluten intolerance and sensitivity is associated with over 55 diseases including but not exclusive to, Celiac disease. Hormone imbalance (PMS, PCOS unexplained infertility), Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, Fatigue, Brain Fog, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis,  Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Sleep Disorders, Neurological illness, Migraine, Peripheral Neuropathy and Ulcerative Colitis.

Historically gluten intolerance was only recognised in Ceoliac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine. Common symptoms of Ceoliac include stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, vomiting and constipation.  It is estimated Ceoliac disease effects 1 in 100 people.

The only treatment for Celiac Disease is a gluten-free diet. Left untreated it can cause auto immune disorders such as Type 1 diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Infertility, Miscarriage, Dermatitis Herpetiformis (itchy skin, rashes), Osteoporosis, Epilepsy, Depression and intestinal Cancers.

It is estimated it gluten-sensitivity effects  3-6 people in every 10, and in some cases only manifests as Neurological Disease. Although recognised by the global medical profession as yet there is no one universal test for diagnosis and how it is treated and supported differs hugely between each Doctor and Specialist.

As the treatment and cure for gluten sensitivity is to simply stop eating gluten and not take a pharmaceutical product unlike the many diseases associated with it, research to date has received limited funding and there has been a lack of mass awareness.

What are the benefits of excluding gluten?

If you suffer from any of the conditions listed above then potentially it can be life changing. It has been described as ‘the light being switched on’ , ‘living your life at a different level’.

So what does this mean?

If you suffer from any form of gluten intolerance or sensitivity and you eliminate gluten from your diet,  you can expect to feel more energised, less bloated, less temperamental, happier, remember things more easily, have a clearer sharper mind and focus, better digestion, slimmer, happier and generally more full of life.

There is talk of a gluten-free diet being a fad and a way of selling gluten-free products that are worse for you than the gluten version?  A gluten-free diet is not a fad for someone who is intolerant of sensitive it really is life changing.  

A gluten-free diet is not bad for you but bad gluten-free diets where you simply  eat processed food which replaces gluten with sugar and other processed nasties are.

How and where to start?

There are many recommended ways, tests and places to start. It is important you find the right one for you.  At the end of this page are links and resources that will help you do this.

My personal recommendation is to not think you are depriving yourself of anything, this is key, rather you are making an active and informed choice to better your life and look after your body, investing in your present and future health.  

What can I eat?

The great news is there are more foods you can enjoy on a gluten-free diet than those that you can’t.

Meat, Fish, Eggs, Milk, Cheese (although check any processed cheese as wheat can by used in thickening agents), ALL vegetables and fruit,  ALL Rice, ALL Herbs and Spices, ALL Salad leaves, ALL Pulses, Wine, Millet, Rice Noodles, Peas, Beans, ALL unflavored nuts, Potatoes, Chickepeas, Quinoa, ALL Oils, Tapioca.

What can’t I eat?

A lot of food stuff that contains gluten is the refined, processed and manufactured food that anyone wanting to eat and well and healthy balanced diet would avoid.  Most supermarkets and many local convineance stores stock gluten-free products .

Wheat, Barley, Bran, Bulgar, Bread, Pastry, Pasta, Self Raising Flour, White Flour, Durum Flour, Phosphated Flour, Bromated Flour, Malt, Malt flavourings, Breaded Meat or poultry, or Processed meat and poultry, Spelt, Semolina, Wheat Germ, Couscous, and Beer (good gluten-free Beers are available). Gluten free options are available of all of these items.

Foods to check

Some foods can be eaten on a gluten-free diet but will depend on the specific manufacture and brand these include:

Yoghurt, Sausages, Alcoholic Spirits, Soya Sauce, Oats, Cooking sprays, tomato Ketchup, Mustard, Ice cream, Sauces, Dipping Sauces, Crisps, Chips (French fries), Pre-prepared Cooking Sauces or Rubs, Stock or Stock Cubes, Sweets (Candy), Biscuits, Vitamin pills (some use gluten as a binding agent).

Top Tips

Always have a few gluten-free snack options in your bag.

When in doubt check the label,  if still in doubt Google.

Grocery store’s online searches can be useful at identifying gluten-free products. The best I have found is Ocado, you don’t even need to buy the product there but they provide a comprehensive list and you can then seek out that product in your normal or health food store.

Freeze extra portions of food so you always have something on stand by if you need it.

If you buy fresh, local and organic you are often buying gluten-free too.

All gluten-free pasta is not equal, try and few and find the best for you.  Most will need stirring when cooking and rinsing off the starch with cold water before eating.

When socialising with friends at Weddings/Dinner Parties/ Celebrations I think its best not be that problematic guest and make a big fuss if your needs have been forgotten or not catered for.  My motto is always IF UNSURE EAT BEFORE

Links

All information on this page taken from the following sources;

Celiac.org

Huffingtonpost Dr Perlmutter Article ‘Gluten Impacts The Brain

Neurology, neurosurgery & Pyschiatry, Gluten Sensitivity As A Neurological Illness

Bullet Proof Pod Cast with Dr Tom O’Bryan – Bulletproofing Your Gut

Mind Body Green, Ten signs You’re Gluten Intolerant

Natural News.com, Six Signs You May Have Gluten Sensitivity and Not Know It

Health Central, Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity: Heeding the Warning Signs and Avoiding Misdiagnosis

Want to find out more…

Dr Tom O’Brayn

Dr Perlmutter

 

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5 Responses to “Gluten FAQs”

  1. thomaslynnemarie

    This is a great blog Tabitha, I have IBS so will find this really useful, as I often go to my tried and tested recipes, so your blog will help me to mix it up a bit! I’m new to blogging and have just started, so far so good, am loving being able to write, check it out if you ever feel the inclination! Have a good day.

    Reply
  2. Libby at ditchthecarbs.com

    Great article. I have never had any problems eating gluten but gave up all wheat and all grains because I went low carb. Oh my word. I will never go back. I feel so much better for being off wheat and grains. The weight drops off, I’m in control of my appetite and just so calm. Even for those who think they don’t have a problem with wheat and gluten, they will benefit. Libby x

    Reply

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