Thursday, September 6, 2012

Gluten Free 101 - For those of you New to the Scene

Being Gluten Free has become common place for me but what absolutely amazes me is how many people do not know what is in the food they eat.

From wikipedia:
Gluten is a protien found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye.

But let's take this one step further for those of you who are newly diagnosed.  Some people think this means that you just can't eat bread.  That would be awesome.  Just give up bread - Sign me up!  Unfortunately it goes deeper than that.  These items can contain gluten:

Bread, Buns, Pasta, Pizza, Crackers, Breading, Anything Breaded including seasoned curly fries, Pies, Cakes, Donuts, Muffins, Corn Dogs, Corn Bread, Stuffing, Rye Bread, Marble Rye Bread, Malt products, Almost all Canned Soups, Canned Gravies, some Canned Pie Fillings, some Barbeque Sauces, some Kethcup, pre-packaged Vegetables with sauces on them, flour tortilla's, Cheese puffs, and this is just a few of the more common items.

Are you shocked that Gluten is in so many different items? Well there are many more I didn't list.  See, gluten is a really cheap way to give food a thicker consistency, such as gravies, soups and sauces.

And because it has become more popular the wheat seed companies have modified this grain to make even more gluten proteins than it naturally did a hundred years ago .  That's why we are seeing the huge outbreaks of Gluten Intolerance.  We have "evolved" the seed but our bodies haven't "evolved" as fast as the seed.  This is why so many of us simply can't process this grain anymore.

                                    The best thing you can do is to educate yourself. 
Learn how to read food labels.  Learn the names of Gluten (Wheat by Product, Wheat, Gluten, Wheat Derivitive).  Be very leary of buying pre-packed food that isn't clearly marked as Gluten Free.  Try to buy more whole foods and prepare them at home.  Shop on the outer aisles of the grocery store, this is where your fresher foods will be.  And if you don't think you can cook then go to your favorite Restaurants websites.  The more popular ones have a Food Allergy link (even though Gluten isn't any allergy) and they will list foods that are Gluten Free.

Think of it like this:  you can eat all the meat, fish, vegetable, and fruits you like.  When you look at it this way the possibilities are endless.  For example:  There's no gluten in a Steak, Green Beans, and a Bake Potato with Butter.  Mmmmmmmm.

You can do this.

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