What does a Gluten Free Diet consist of?

What does a Gluten Free Diet consist of?

Gluten is a protein complex. It is a composite of storage proteins termed prolamins and glutelins1. You can notice certain foods that have gluten in them, based on their shape and texture. For example, breads or doughs that have gluten will have a chewy texture. The gluten proteins help keeps the doughs shape as it expands and stretches as it is baked. Gluten is a stabilizing agent in food. Ice cream, beer, ketchup, even cosmetics, and certain hair products have gluten in them. This makes it extremely hard for those with Celiac disease or have a gluten intolerance to go about their daily lives. Gluten proteins have very little nutritional value and are not mandatory in your diet. However, going on a gluten free diet you can lose many major vitamins and minerals. That is why you need to find a way to replace those lost vitamins and minerals. You can eat other foods to make up for the loss of those vitamins or you can take vitamin supplements instead such as a multi-vitamin. If you decide to go on a gluten free diet you need to make sure you have a balance of your micro and macronutrients.

Examples of Gluten Free Foods 3:

  • Milk, butter, margarine, real cheese, plain yogurt and most ice cream without gluten-containing add-ins
  • Vegetable oils, including canola
  • Plain fruits, vegetables (fresh, frozen and canned), meat, seafood, potatoes, eggs, nuts, nut butters, beans and legumes
  • Distilled vinegar
  • Distilled alcoholic beverages are gluten free because distillation effectively removes gluten. They are not gluten free if gluten-containing ingredients are added after distillation, but this rarely happens.
  • Mono and diglycerides – common food additives used to blend together certain ingredients, for example: water and oil.
  • Spices. If there is no ingredient list on the container, it contains only the pure spice noted on the label. However, be aware that spices and seasonings are two different things.

1 Food and Drug Administration (January 2007). “Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods” (PDF).
2 Lamacchia, Carmela, et al. “Cereal-Based Gluten-Free Food: How to Reconcile Nutritional and Technological Properties of Wheat Proteins with Safety for Celiac Disease Patients.” Nutrients, MDPI, Feb. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3942718/. Accessed 2 Oct. 2017.
3 “The Basic Gluten-Free Diet – Gluten-Free Living Magazine.” Gluten-Free Living, 28 Sept. 2017, www.glutenfreeliving.com/gluten-free-foods/diet/basic-diet/. Accessed 2 Oct. 2017

Sources

  1. Food and Drug Administration (January 2007). “Food Labeling; Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods” (PDF).
  2. Lamacchia, Carmela, et al. “Cereal-Based Gluten-Free Food: How to Reconcile Nutritional and Technological Properties of Wheat Proteins with Safety for Celiac Disease Patients.” Nutrients, MDPI, Feb. 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3942718/. Accessed 2 Oct. 2017.
  3. “The Basic Gluten-Free Diet – Gluten-Free Living Magazine.” Gluten-Free Living, 28 Sept. 2017, www.glutenfreeliving.com/gluten-free-foods/diet/basic-diet/. Accessed 2 Oct. 2017.
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