What is a Gluten Free Diet?

You may have seen packaging in the stores that say “gluten free,” and/or listened to your friends who now say they are going on a “gluten free diet.”  What does a gluten free diet entail?

What does a gluten free mean and why would a person want to eat a gluten free diet?

What is a Gluten Free Diet?

A gluten free diet is when a person no longer eats any foods that have gluten in them for numerous health reasons. Gluten is what holds all of the fibers together in wheat and barley so the bread or baked item doesn’t fall apart. It acts like a glue for baked goods and a thickener for processed foods.

Gluten is also put in many items in addition to wheat that you would never think have gluten in them. Gluten can be used as a filler or a thickener and is put in many processed foods. If you are on a gluten free diet, this is very important to know.

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What is a Gluten Free Diet?

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Foods To Avoid If You Are On A Gluten Free Diet

If you are on a gluten free diet, there are many foods that you want to avoid such as:

  • Pies, cakes, cookies, muffins, desserts, pudding mixes, cake mixes
  • Spaghetti, macaroni, lasagna noodles, and egg noodles
  • Some types of lunch meat and hot dogs.
  • Canned fruit (uses gluten to thicken)
  • Some processed cheeses
  • Most canned soups  that use hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) is not good for a gluten free diet.
  • Some chocolate milks and malted milks
  • Self basting turks that are injected with (HVP)
  • Some canned baked beans.
  • Ice cream cones
  • Some salad dressings
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Some candy, and cake decorations.
  • Some mayonnaise, ketchup, soy sauces and mustards.
  • Canned fruit
  • Some sauces like b-bque sauce
  • Stamps
  • Some beers and alcohol distilled from wheat
  • Some ice creams
  • Flavored products including flavored yogurt and flavored coffees.
  • Some artificial creamers
  • Cereals that contain Triticale (a cross of wheat and rye).
  • Some prescriptions.

If you are eating a gluten free diet, you can no longer eat any foods that have gluten in them. The great news is you can bake delicious foods still!

  • Instead of wheat flour, you bake with gluten free flours like almond flour, coconut flour, garbanzo bean flour, quinoa flour, amaranth flour, white rice flour, rice bran, soy flour and brown rice flour to name a few.
  • Instead of regular pasta you eat gluten free pasta.
  • In addition, you have to avoid barley, rye and oats (unless you buy a gluten free diet version.)
Going On A Gluten Free Diet Is a Challenge

The challenging thing about trying go on a gluten free diet, is wheat and gluten is put in so many different foods as a filler and a thickener. Wheat is not expensive to produce and we eat wheat and gluten from morning to night without even realizing it.

  • Perhaps you start your day with cereal that has wheat in it. (This is not good for a gluten free diet)
  • Then you have a sandwich using wheat bread with gluten in it.
  • Perhaps you have a cookie for dessert that is made with wheat flour. (Not allowed on a gluten free diet)
  • For dinner you might have pizza, (gluten in the crust) and a salad with wheat croutons in it. Many salad dressings even have gluten in them.

All of these items have wheat in them and/or gluten! Yickes. It is no wonder why people are having a reaction to it. Perhaps we just eat TOO gluten and too much wheat!

Stay tuned. I will have many posts to come to explore a gluten free diet and explain the benefit of eating gluten free baked treats even if your doctor has not yet said that you should go on a gluten free diet.

Think about all the times that you eat wheat in the day, it is CONSTANT!