July 2011 | Newsletter archives
All about gluten-free eating
By Samantha Grant, CN
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye grains, and is often the culprit for chronic indigestion and especially celiac disease. If a person with celiac consumes gluten the lining of the small intestine can be nearly destroyed, leaving them unable to absorb nutrients. The only way to truly prevent this is to eat gluten-free.
Yes it can impact your social life a bit. Pizza is out, as is most fast and/or convenience food. Bread at your favorite Italian restaurant is a no-no; come to think of it, pasta is also out. Beer is bad, but it’s also fattening so that’s probably good to cut out anyway.
However there are many things that CAN be consumed that taste good and are better for you. Starches like corn, potatoes, rice and even tapioca (pudding anyone?) are often fine for a gluten-free diet. Nut flours, like buckwheat are also fine as long as the buckwheat – which isn’t actually related to wheat – doesn’t include a mixture of real wheat. Fruits and vegetables, as always, rule.
When purchasing food, be sure to look at the labels. Many will state clearly that a food is gluten-free. And many grocery stores, like Whole Foods Market, have extensive lists of gluten-free products available at each location. If you shop smart, your body will thank you.