The protein found in barley, rye and wheat is called gluten. It gives foods an elastic quality and makes it chewier. Each grain has proteins, but they are not all the same. For example, wheat contains gliadin; rye contains secalin; and barley contains hordein. Collectively, these grain proteins are called prolamins. For those who are gluten intolerant, they can cause health issues. By eating foods that are free of these proteins, those who have these intolerances can avoid their chances of damage to their small intestine. You will also side step the issues that are associated with these intolerances such as celiac disease.
Those who are affected by gluten simply need to stay away from it. In today’s market with more awareness of celiac disease and its popularity, there are many products available that are gluten free. Studies say that 1 in every 133 persons suffers from celiac disease. Gluten free diets are filled with substitutes to products that are based on the use of wheat. When those with intolerances practice gluten free diets, they will also avoid conditions associated with gluten sensitivity such as Mermatitis Herpetiformis, a condition of the skin that causes irritation.
It has also been shown that gluten free diets are useful for those who suffer from autism, fibromyalgia and the all popular ADHD.
Here are some foods that are free of gluten and should be included in diet that is free of gluten.
Beans and Meat - one should consume at least two servings of protein from one of these groups daily. Foods that fall into these groups include grass fed beef, natural chicken, pork, turkey and seafood.
Also falling into this category are peas, beans, nuts, seeds and free-range eggs.
Fruits and vegetables are also gluten free and should be consumed daily. At least five servings each day should be included in gluten free diets – even more is better.
Grains. Not all grains include gluten. There are many options that are important to include in our diets and are gluten free such as: brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, millet, and spelt. One should consume at least six servings of grains daily.
Fats and Oils can be used in gluten free diets. Fats are important for our health as long as they are the right fats. Fats from nuts and non-animal sources are typically healthy. Oily fish such as salmon and tuna contain important omega 3 fatty acids and should be consumed. Oils such as olive oil, coconut oil and canola oil are best to use for cooking.
Yogurt, Cheese and Milk. At least two servings daily from this group should be part of gluten free diets. If you are lactose intolerant, there are soy and almond substitutes that are suitable as well. When eating dairy products, be sure that you chose the organic, unprocessed options.
The Celiac Sprue Association recommends the following snack foods for gluten free diets: chips that are potato based, pure cornmeal chips, tortillas (corn based), rice wafers and popcorn.
Folks with celiac disease can do wonderfully well on gluten free diets. The key is to diagnose the problem early and work towards cutting gluten out of your diet. If you suspect celiac disease contact a doctor immediately for diagnosis.