Are You Gluten Intolerant?

Many Americans have some level of gluten intolerance which may show through symptoms of stomach upset all the way up to Celica’s Disease.  There is a spectrum of disorders where gluten has an adverse effect on the body.  It’s generally accepted that one in 133 people have celiac disease, a genetic condition resulting in intestinal damage whenever they ingest gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.  Recently, the research community separated out those people who suffer from gluten-intolerance separately.

Many people don’t understand how many products have wheat or wheat products, in soy sauce, even French fries (coating).  If you are trying to control gluten, making your own food maybe the best way to manage the issue.

Some main-stay, gluten-free staples to enjoy are;

1.    Quinoa & Brown rice.  Quinoa is a whole grain that is loaded with protein and provides all 9 essential amino acids, while cooking in 10-15 minutes.  Quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat, millet and hominy are hearty enough to make a ‘meatless’ meal.  Adding fresh herbs, scallions, balsamic vinegar and a touch of flavored olive oils with lots of vegetables, enhances these whole grain’s flavors.  For an Indian flair, add curry, white raisins, pine nuts and caramelized onions.

2.    Root Vegetables are gluten free.  They include parsnips, potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, rutabagas and celery root.  They are hearty and versatile.  Prepare them mashed, simmered in stews or soups, grilled or roasted with a splash of olive oil and herbs until they are sweet and caramelized.

3.    Eggs

4.    Fresh meats, fish, poultry (all un-breaded)

5.    Most dairy products (I love 0% Greek yogurt)

6.    Flax

7.    Corn and cornmeal

8.    Soy

9.    Sorghum

10.  Dried beans and lentils

Avoid barley, rye, triticale (cross between wheat and rye), wheat, farina, graham flour, bugler, semolina, spelt, and kamut.  Glutens can be in food additives (malt flavoring, food starch), medications and play dough.

Have test run if you believe you have gluten intolerance.  Keeping a journal to documents foods that flare your symptoms can be very helpful.

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