New year’s resolutions often prompt consideration of diets and diet fads. One diet that has received a lot of attention is the gluten-free diet. Of course, there are people who need to follow a strict gluten-free diet, those with wheat allergy, celiac disease, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. And it is not known exactly how many Americans these may impact. This 5-minute video gives a quick overview of gluten, where it can be found (wheat, rye, barley and Triticale [a cross between wheat and rye]), and who needs to avoid it.
The Mayo Clinic website also provides additional information on the gluten-free diet and the foods that can be eaten:
- Vegetables, without sauces
- Meat, not breaded or processed
- Quinoa, rice, flax, soy, corn
- Beans, legumes
- Nuts and seeds, unprocessed
- Dairy, without ingredients not permitted
And a sampling of foods not permitted because they either contain wheat, rye or barley or are coated in or processed with gluten containing substances:
- Baked goods and sweets
- Cookies and crackers
- French fries
- Luncheon meats
- Salad dressings
- Potato and tortilla chips
- Prepared soups
Given the restrictive nature of the gluten-free diet, it should not be undertaken lightly. Cross contamination of food ingredients is also a concern.
As noted in the video, other diet culprits (excess sugar, fructans, and others) could be the real root of gastrointestinal distress. Next week, I will cover fructans and another diet gaining in popularity and use, a low FODMAP diet.
Happy and healthful eating,
Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN
Questions about setting nutrient-dense eating goals for the year ahead? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.