What’s All This Talk About Gluten?

Celiac Disease (CD) is a life long genetic disorder affecting people of all ages. When people with celiac disease eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine. This damage occurs every time gluten is consumed, even if symptoms are not present.

However, you do not have to have celiac disease to have problems with gluten. In fact, many people are intolerant to gluten and are often unaware how much it is affecting their health. Symptoms of CD or gluten intolerance can range from none at all to life-threatening. The most common symptoms include: excess fatigue, depression, and weight gain.

Additional symptoms include body aches, joint pains, unexplained infertility (in either or both partners), frequent infections, itchy skin rashes, canker sores, irritability, tingling or numbness in hands and feet, weight loss, fractures or thin bones, missed menstrual periods, discolored teeth or loss of enamel, nutritional deficiencies with the most common being: vitamin D, magnesium, calcium, and unexplained anemia, and of course digestive symptoms. Digestive symptoms commonly do not occur alone, and include abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, weight gain/loss, constipation, diarrhea, or alternating constipation and diarrhea.

How many Americans are on an anti-depressant, when in fact, a diet including gluten could be the primary cause of their symptoms?

A Simple Overview of a Gluten Free (GF) Diet:

Allowed Grains/Flours:
rice, corn, soy, potato, tapioca, beans, garfava, sorghum, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, arrowroot, amaranth, teff, montina, flax, and nut flours

Not Allowed in Any Form:
semolina, couscous, rye, barley, triticale, and wheat (einkorn, durum, faro, graham, kamut, spelt, bulgar)

Wheat free does not equal gluten free!

Some products may still contain spelt, rye, or barley. The key to a gluten free diet is to become a good label reader. Labels must be read everytime you purchase a product because manufacturers can change their ingredients at anytime.

Products That May Contain Gluten:

beers, ales, lagers, breading & coating mixes, brown rice syrup, communion wafers, croutons, dressings, drugs & over-the-counter medicines, energy bars, flour & cereal products, herbal supplements, imitation bacon, imitation seafood, marinades, some nutritional supplements, pastas, processed luncheon meats, sauces & gravies, self basting poultry, soy sauce or soy sauce solids, soup bases, stuffings & dressings, thickeners.

How About Alcohol?

Distilled alcoholic beverages and vinegars are gluten free. Wine and hard liquor beverages are gluten free. Beers, ales, lagers, and malt vinegars are not gluten free. Look for gluten free beers which are now available.

How About Oats?

Pure, uncontaminated oats consumed in moderation (no more than ½ cup dry oats daily) are tolerated by most celiacs. Gluten free oats are currently available. Take great caution with oats, as there is a high risk for cross contamination with gluten.

3 Flour Combinations For You To Try In Your Recipes

All Purpose GF Flour Blend
¼ cup rice flour
¼ cup tapioca starch/flour
¼ cup cornstarch or potato starch

Self-Rising Flour Blend
(good for muffins, scones, cakes, cupcakes)
1 ¼ cup white sorghum flour
1 ¼ cup white rice flour
½ cup tapioca starch/flour
2 tsp. xanthum or guar gum
4 tsp. aluminum free baking powder
½ tsp sea salt

High Protein Flour Blend
1 ½ cup sorghum flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch/flour
½ cup cornstarch/potato starch
3 tsp. xantham gum
1 ½ tsp. sea salt

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