Gluten-free nutrition

Gluten can enhance various chronic diseases and even cause some diseases. Conversely, in people who have a gluten sensitivity, chronic diseases can improve when they avoid gluten.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a mixture of different proteins which are found not only in wheat, but also in many other cereals like spelt, rye, oats and barley.

For the grain, gluten is a storage protein that provides nutrients to the seedlings during the germination process.

In the bakery of the human being, however, the gluten provides the bread to hold together nicely during baking.

Why is gluten harmful?

Gluten is difficult to digest. Often it won´t be completely decomposed into individual amino acids. Incompletely digested gluten fragments will remain.

These protein fragments are called peptides. Depending on the condition of the intestinal mucosa, they can pass through the mucous membrane and enter the bloodstream.

Gluten peptides can now mimic body-borne substances (endorphins), which play important functions in the brain and are involved in pain, happiness, and control of hunger.

Gluten peptides can also trigger allergic reactions. These may manifest themselves in swelling and inflammation.

A gluten intolerance has its cause in the gut, however, it does not necessarily affect digestion problems, but often “only” with a chronic fatigue and the feeling of not being powerful.

Symptoms of gluten sensitivity may include headache, exhaustion, sleep disorders, feeling of fainting, concentration problems, ADHD, autism symptoms, mood swings, dizziness, or an overweight problem that simply does not diminish despite all efforts.

How to live a gluten-free diet?

Meanwhile a lot of people eat gluten-free, without really knowing how to eat gluten-free and healthy at the same time. Gluten-free does not mean in any case that the nutrition is actually healthy. When you decide to eat gluten-free you must make sure to live a whole-food nutrition. If you focus on gluten-free convenience food which consists of superfine flour, additives and sugar you may suffer under a lack of Vitamin B12 and fibers.

Gluten-free nutrition:

  • Rice, wild rice, corn, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa and products of all these Pseudo-cereals (i.e. flour, flakes, pops)
  • Nuts
  • Oilseeds (linseed, sesame, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds etc.)
  • Pulses
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Salads (attention to finished dressings)
  • Potatoes and potato starch
  • Chestnuts and products out of it
  • Cooked banana flour, soy meal, teff flour, chick pea flour, coconut flour, hemp flour, lupine flour, almond flourMilk and milk products
  • Vegetable oils other than wheat germ oil
  • Meat, fish, seafood
  • Eggs
  • Tofu and soy milk
  • Coconut and coconut products (coconut flour, coconut oil, coconut blossom sugar, coconut, coconut flakes etc.)
  • Honey and many alternative sweeteners such as maple syrup, agave syrup, apple syrup, rice syrup, yavon as syrup or Yacon as powder
  • Pure spices and herbs
  • Pure fruit juices, water, tea (not flavored)
  • Pure cocoa powder
  • Wine and champagne
  • Gluten-free binders: potato starch, rice flour, corn starch, arrowhead starch, carob gum, guar flour

The following food contains gluten:

  • Grain varieties such as wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelled, green kernels, einkorn, emmer, kamut and products out of it
  • Flour, pudding, grains, starch, cereal flakes, muesli
  • Pasta, noodles, bread, rolls, baguette, crisp bread
  • Gnocchi, dumplings
  • Breadcrumbs such as breaded meat, breaded fish, breaded cheese
  • Meatballs, meat dumplings and other minced meat products
  • Seitan and products that contain Seitan
  • Pizza
  • Lots of convenience food
  • Cakes, pies, yeast biscuits
  • Biscuits, energy bars
  • ice cream cones
  • Salt sticks, nibbles
  • Beer and malt beer

These products also may contain gluten (check label first!):

  • Industrial sauces (also seasoning sauces such as soya and fish sauce), finished dressings, manufactured soups
  • Medicines, toothpaste and cosmetic products such as lip care sticks
  • Aromas, dyes, stabilizers, thickeners, gellant, flavor enhancers
  • French fries
  • Croquettes
  • Dairy products with fruit jam
  • Some fat-reduced products
  • Fresh cheese preparations with herbs
  • Sausages
  • Scrambled eggs in restaurants or hotels
  • Pudding, ice cream, nut nougat cream
  • Crisps, flips and other nibbles
  • Chocolate
  • Ketchup, mustard
  • Fashion drinks, sodas
  • Flavored tea or coffee
  • Cocoa powder with additives

If you are interesting in learning more about a gluten-free diet which helps to prevent sicknesses and reduces excisting health problems please feel free to contact me.

Tina Kaczor is Nutrition specialist on Ibiza. Read all about her on her profilepage

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