Gluten free diet


gluten free diet

Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and a cross between wheat and rye called triticale.

A gluten-free diet is essential for managing signs and symptoms of celiac disease and other medical conditions associated with gluten. A gluten-free diet seems to be trending among people without gluten-related medical conditions. The claimed benefits of the diet are improved health, weight loss and increased energy.

Most clinical studies regarding gluten-free diets have been conducted with people who have celiac disease. Therefore, there is little clinical evidence about the health benefits of a gluten-free diet in the general population.

Removing gluten from your diet likely changes your overall intake of fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. Therefore, regardless of your reasons for following a gluten-free diet, it's important to know how it can affect your overall nutritional needs.

Diet details

Following a gluten-free diet requires paying careful attention to both the ingredients of foods and their nutritional content.

Allowed fresh foods

Many naturally gluten-free foods can be a part of a healthy diet:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Beans, seeds and nuts in their natural, unprocessed forms
  • Eggs
  • Lean, nonprocessed meats, fish and poultry
  • Most low-fat dairy products

Grains, starches or flours that you can include in a gluten-free diet include:

  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn and cornmeal
  • Flax
  • Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
  • Hominy (corn)
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Sorghum
  • Soy
  • Tapioca (cassava root)
  • Teff

Grains not allowed

Avoid all foods and drinks containing the following:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
  • Oats (in some cases)

While oats are naturally gluten-free, they may be contaminated during production with wheat, barley or rye. Oats and oat products labeled gluten-free have not been cross-contaminated. Some people with celiac disease, however, cannot tolerate the gluten-free labeled oats.

Wheat terms to know

There are different varieties of wheat, all of which contain wheat gluten:

  • Durum
  • Einkorn
  • Emmer
  • Kamut
  • Spelt

Wheat flours have different names based on how the wheat is milled or the flour is processed. All of the following flours have gluten:

  • Enriched flour with added vitamins and minerals
  • Farina, milled wheat usually used in hot cereals
  • Graham flour, a course whole-wheat flour
  • Self-rising flour, also called phosphate flour
  • Semolina, the part of milled wheat used in pasta and couscous