BIG Nutrition: Is Gluten Free For You?


BIG Nutrition: Is Gluten Free For You?

wheatNew year’s resolutions often prompt consideration of diets and diet fads. One diet that has received a lot of attention is the gluten-free diet. Of course, there are people who need to follow a strict gluten-free diet, those with wheat allergy, celiac disease, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. And it is not known exactly how many Americans these may impact. This 5-minute video gives a quick overview of gluten, where it can be found (wheat, rye, barley and Triticale [a cross between wheat and rye]), and who needs to avoid it.

The Mayo Clinic website also provides additional information on the gluten-free diet and the foods that can be eaten:

  • Vegetables, without sauces
  • Fruits
  • Meat, not breaded or processed
  • Quinoa, rice, flax, soy, corn
  • Beans, legumes
  • Nuts and seeds, unprocessed
  • Eggs
  • Dairy, without ingredients not permitted

And a sampling of foods not permitted because they either contain wheat, rye or barley or are coated in or processed with gluten containing substances:

  • Beer
  • Breads
  • Baked goods and sweets
  • Cereals
  • Cookies and crackers
  • French fries
  • Pastas
  • Luncheon meats
  • Salad dressings
  • Potato and tortilla chips
  • Prepared soups

Given the restrictive nature of the gluten-free diet, it should not be undertaken lightly. Cross contamination of food ingredients is also a concern.

As noted in the video, other diet culprits (excess sugar, fructans, and others) could be the real root of gastrointestinal distress. Next week, I will cover fructans and another diet gaining in popularity and use, a low FODMAP diet.

Happy and healthful eating,

Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN


Questions about setting nutrient-dense eating goals for the year ahead? Contact me at [email protected]