By: Carol B. Blair, BB, CNC, DiHom
Avoidance of gluten, which is found in many grains, (especially wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, and triticale) is essential if one is gluten-intolerant.
Rice, corn, soy, potato, tapioca, and arrowroot are considered acceptable alternatives. Although corn is a high-allergy grain, it is not thought to cause damage to the villi in celiac individuals.
Buckwheat (kasha), amaranth, and quinoa are seeds and are also generally regarded as satisfactory gluten-free foods for baking.
Legumes (beans, lentils, and peas) are also gluten-free and are used as flours.
Tapioca, soy, sorghum, ragi, millet, teff, and wild rice are other items that may be eaten or milled into flour for the gluten-free diet. Gluten-free oats now available.
The average diet contains 10-40 grams of gluten per day. An average slice of whole wheat bread contains about 4.8 grams (10% gluten by weight), a serving of pasta is about 6.4 grams (11% by weight). 0.1 grams of gluten can cause damage to a person with celiac disease! This is 1/48th of a slice of bread! One study of 10 children for 28 days revealed,
through biopsies, an increase in intra-epithelial lymphocyte count, one of the earliest signs of
damage. Four patients showed increased IgA anti-gliadin antibodies. Intestinal permeability,
however, remained the same in this study (Catassi et al).
Be aware that some drugs such as statins contain gluten! Celiac intolerance is often accompanied by a dairy allergy! A gluten-free diet is often considered helpful for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.
Ideas to Incorporate in a Gluten-Free Diet:
- Fearn’s brown rice baking mix – apple/cinnamon pancakes
- Nut-thin crackers*
- Rice pasta
- Quinoa and corn pasta
- Le garden gluten-free bread
- Rice, corn, soy, tapioca, arrowroot, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, GF oats
- Potatoes (especially red skin)
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
- All vegetables and all fruits
- Protein foods: chicken, turkey, fish, meat, eggs, nuts and seeds, beans, lentils, and peas
* Please note that this product is not casein-free; therefore, it is not recommended for individuals with autism.