A gluten-free diet is a diet which implies the avoidance of gluten-containing foods and is recommended for individuals with coeliac disease to reduce the disease symptoms and improve quality of life.
There are numerous disorders associated with impaired digestion due to certain ferments deficiencies. Celiac disease is one of such disorders and probably the most common. This disease is caused by the gluten intolerance meaning that an affected person cannot tolerate a group of proteins which include prolamins and glutelins (which are known as gluten), a gluten-free diet is helpful to reduce the disease symptoms within a few weeks after the initiation of the exclusion therapy. This diet is also recommended for those who suffer from non-celiac gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy, gluten ataxia, and dermatitis herpetiformis.
Bread, wheat, and cereals are the main sources of gluten, therefore, it is recommended to exclude such foods from the diet. Some grains such as rice, corn, quinoa, buckwheat, and oats are gluten-free and, respectively, may be consumed when on a gluten-free diet.
For whom the diet is recommended
Despite the fact that gluten itself is not an essential part of human nutrition, a gluten-free diet is not as healthy as it is considered and individuals on a gluten-free diet do not receive all the necessary nutrients, especially iron, calcium, B vitamin, and fiber. Consequently, healthy individuals should not stick to a gluten-free diet. Moreover, it is not recommended initiating a gluten-free diet until the gluten intolerance is confirmed (interestingly, avoidance of gluten before obtaining a gluten tolerance test may affect the result). Furthermore,
Foods to avoid
The following foods should be avoided:
- wheat flours (such as durum flour, enriched flour, graham flour, semolina flour, and white flour);
- wheat germ, wheat starch, wheat bran, cracked wheat;
- products made with wheat products including pasta, pizza, bread, cakes, biscuits, crackers, cookies, pie, and pastries;
- barley, barley flour, and products made with barley;
- rye, rye flour, and products made with rye;
- processed meats;
- food starch;
- triticale and other wheat hybrids;
Foods to eat
Plain fruits and vegetables, potatoes, plain meat, rice, products made of corn, nuts, buckwheat, beans, and peas can be safely consumed. Oats may be contaminated with cereals, so while choosing oats look for the label “gluten-free”. Furthermore, gluten-free flour made of rice, soy, potato or corn may be used in cooking, foods made of such flour are safe for gluten-intolerant individuals. Dairy products including milk and cheese also don’t contain gluten and may become a part of a gluten-free diet, although it is recommended to avoid dairy products for a short period of time during flare-ups of the disease until the gut recovers.
Distilled alcoholic beverages and wine may also be consumed.
Tips and essentials
All the products are labeled as gluten-containing or gluten-free. Sauces, condiments, and dressing may contain gluten so it is recommended to check for the label.
Additionally, some medicines and supplement also contain gluten, so it’s better to consult with your doctor before consuming any drugs.