Gluten-Free Dietary Advice

Many people suffer from food allergies and intolerance to certain foods. One of the most common ailments that can strike is celiac disease which means an inability to consume products with gluten, also known as an allergy to wheat which is typically a genetic disorder though many of those who have trouble digesting gluten do not necessary have celiac disease. Celiac disease is when the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged due to gluten because it is unable to tolerate and absorb nutrients. It is best to consult your doctor or holistic practitioner if you are having problems with digestion related to gluten products. I myself do not suffer from this condition, but I certainly often prefer gluten-free products as they are easier to digest. Thankfully there are lots of options for those who cannot tolerate gluten and they don't have to sacrifice flavor, taste or nutrition either. Even treats can be enjoyed and markets and restaurants are finally offering up delicious alternatives. Many good quality breads are available without preservatives and wheat. Though often denser in texture, I really prefer these breads though I can eat almost anything without a face.

There are plenty of gluten-free grains that are digestible such as quinoa, rice, millet, gram flour (besan or chickpea flour), buckwheat, corn and teff which can be used as substitutes for wheat flour and consumed as side dishes or for breakfast. Oats may also be consumed, though there is some controversy whether or not oats are acceptable and it seems it would depend on the individual and whether cross-contamination occurs during processing of the oats. Oats should be pure and uncontaminated. It is important to check labels when buying processed food, but sometimes the labels are not always accurate unfortunately, so it is best to go with a trusted grocer and avoid processed foods as much as possible.

Other important sources of gluten-free foods include beans and legumes, the grains I have mentioned above and natural sources of sweeteners such as honey and sugar, such as xylitol. Fruits, vegetables, meats and most dairy products are also a healthy choice that won't upset the system. Most oils are also suitable and healthy for those afflicted with celiac disease. Feel free to spice up your dishes too.

I will offer up a few of my own gluten-free recipes to my readers:
Gluten-Free Honey, Lemon, Poppy Seed Cake
Chocolate Cocoa Brownies with Dried Cranberries and Chickpea Flour
Makki Di Roti (Griddle Cooked Corn Bread)
Spicy Quinoa Nut Loaf
Quinoa Soup with Corn

quinoa soup with corn

Some resources you may want to check for more information and recipes for those suffering from gluten-free allergies:
Diet, Desserts and Dogs
Gluten-Free Goddess
Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free
Wheat Free Meat Free


Rita said...

My nephew as well as their son have discovered they suffer from this. Not easy to follow their diet, but there so mcuh more offered these days.

Priya Suresh said...

Very informtative post, i know it not that much easy to follow very strictly this gulten free diet, thanks Lisa for this lovely post.

Johanna GGG said...

RE your comment on the oats controversy - One thing that is frustrating when trying to cook gf in Australia is that those eating gf are recommended not to eat oats whereas in America it seems that GF oats are available. Having said that, I agree that there are lots of great gf recipes about and the more you look the more you discover.

Jane said...

Fortunately, I do not suffer from celiac disease but I have tried this diet for a few months and I have to warn everybody who is thinking of starting a gluten-free diet - watch your intake of fiber, iron and zinc! Gluten-free foods can be healthy for your body but anemia surely is not!