Foods to Avoid and to Eat with a Gluten Intolerance
By Pierre Mouchette | Bits-n-Pieces
Celiac disease, wheat allergy, and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) all involve an adverse reaction to gluten and are treated with a gluten-free diet. These conditions are considered forms of gluten intolerance. While celiac disease and NCGS may lead to intestinal damage and cause symptoms like diarrhea, gas, and bloating, celiac is an autoimmune condition linked to other serious health effects, such as anemia, stunted growth, and neurological effects.
A wheat allergy refers to an allergic reaction to wheat proteins, the symptoms of which may be life-threatening. This condition is treated with a wheat-free diet, not necessarily a gluten-free diet. Although people with wheat allergies must avoid wheat, most can eat other grains, including gluten-containing ones like barley and rye. Meanwhile, people with celiac disease and NCGS must avoid all gluten-containing foods to control symptoms. Notably, many healthy foods are naturally gluten-free, and many companies make delicious gluten-free products.
The following are some foods to avoid if you have a gluten intolerance,
as well as some that you can safely eat.
Foods to avoid
You should avoid the following foods if you have a gluten intolerance.
Grains that contain gluten include:
Most bread, crackers, and wraps
Most bread, crackers, and wraps contain gluten. The only way to know for sure is to read the ingredient list and check to see which grains are used.
If you have a gluten intolerance, avoid the following:
Although condiments seem like unlikely sources of gluten, many popular ones harbor gluten. These include:
Most baked goods
Baked goods are typically made with wheat flour or other gluten-containing grains. As such, people with gluten intolerance should avoid these foods:
Pasta is a staple food in many cultures. Although gluten-free alternatives exist, most traditional pasta is made with gluten-containing grains:
Some snack foods
Snack foods are a common source of gluten. Gluten-containing snacks include:
Some drinks are made with ingredients that contain gluten, so it is essential to read labels. Beverages that may contain gluten include:
Some processed foods and other items
Many processed foods and other popular items may also harbor gluten. These include:
If you are gluten intolerant, you can enjoy the following foods.
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free. However, remember that certain products, such as battered vegetables and candy-coated fruit, may contain gluten. The following are some options:
Beans and lentils are gluten-free and are commonly used to make pasta alternatives and other gluten-free products. They include:
Gluten-free grains and grain products
Although many grains are off-limits for people with gluten intolerance, some are gluten-free. They include:
Animal proteins like the following are naturally gluten-free:
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are gluten-free and provide a nutrient-rich source of fat. They can be made into gluten-free flour. Good choices of nuts, seeds, and butter include:
Certain seasonings and condiments
The following seasonings and condiments are safe for those following gluten-free diets:
Healthy fats and oils
Most sources of healthy fat, such as the following, are gluten-free.
Many restaurants do not offer gluten-free meals, so it is essential to know what is safe to order if you have gluten intolerance and are going out to eat. If you have celiac disease, NCGS, or a wheat allergy, it is essential that you inform the waitstaff. The restaurant is much more likely to take your condition seriously if they know you cannot have gluten for medical reasons.
Avoiding pasta, bread, and grain dishes would be best unless the restaurant offers gluten-free options like brown rice pasta or gluten-free grains. You will also need to steer clear of bread baskets. Instead, ask the waitstaff to bring a gluten-free appetizer like edamame, a caprese or simple salad, or a crudités plate with hummus.
Fried foods, such as french fries, fried chicken, fried fish, and mozzarella sticks, usually contain gluten, so you should also avoid these foods. When choosing a meal, keep it simple and use the following steps to create a gluten-free meal:
Customizable salads and gluten-free grain bowls make great meal choices.
You can bring your own from home if you do not trust restaurant salad dressings or sauces. Pour a small amount into a portable glass jar or bottle. To ensure that you have gluten-free options, scanning the menu before eating at a restaurant is advisable. You can also call ahead to discuss your options with the staff.
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