Last week we covered celiac disease. People who suffer from this disease can’t tolerate gluten in certain foods. The most common foods include wheat, rye, oats, and barley. Damage is done to the small intestines and the body is not able to absorb the nutrients it needs. More women than men are affected, and it is estimated 1 in 133 people in theUnited Statessuffers from this disease. Celiac disease is hard to diagnose, but once it is found you can make adjustments to your diet and protect your body and find relief.
It can be a challenge to go gluten free, but there are still several food choices you can make. The Gluten Free Living Magazine lists some of the foods which are gluten free. These include these grains:
It is important to read labels. Look for ingredients such as the following which are considered gluten free:
- All spices
- Vinegar (but not malted vinegar)
- Citric Acid
- Lactic Acid
- Guar Gum
- Xanthan Gum
- Tapioca Starch
- Potato Starch
All fresh fruits and vegetables are gluten free, as well as spices. Alcoholic beverages are gluten free unless ingredients are added after distillation which contain gluten. Meat, fish, poultry, and seafood are all gluten free if they are not breaded.
In an effort to meet the needs of gluten free living, General Mills has included 250 products to their choices which are gluten free. You can find these products at the Betty Crocker website. Cake mixes, biscuit mixes, cereals, and snacks are included on the list. The Whole Foods Market has a wonderful resource you can use to shop if you need to live a gluten free life.
If you have a child with celiac disease, talk to your pediatric nurse practitioner about foods to avoid and include in their diet. It will be easier if your entire family follows a gluten free diet. You may find you have less digestive issues yourself by living a gluten free lifestyle. It may seem like an impossible quest to find delicious foods for your family on a gluten free diet, but with all of the products available today it is actually not as difficult as it first appears.