wheat

Gluten free is all the rage right now but is it right for everyone? I’ve written about my own gluten free experience before but to sum up, every time I consume pasta, white flour products like bagels, bread or muffins or cake, I’d feel bloated and uncomfortable. I wasn’t always like this and what I believe is a gluten sensitivity began in the last few years. I started trying gluten free products and wow, it helped tremendously. I don’t quite know WHY I have an issue with gluten but I do… so I try to avoid it.

Stomach troubles, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease may get worse when you consume gluten. You might have a gluten sensitivity if you experience headaches, grogginess, and fatigue after eating gluten.

But if you don’t need gluten free products, should you still eat them? Probably not! If you have no problem digesting gluten, then by all means, eat it. Going gluten free isn’t exactly a “diet” so don’t think you will lose weight by avoiding gluten or consuming gluten free products.

I just learned that gluten free products can actually be made with starches and fillers, not exactly health foods. If you are gluten free, you can try eating rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, or potatoes and baking with gluten-free flours such as rice, soy, corn, potato, bean. But…Gluten free products are low in fiber so try to get fiber from fruits and vegetables.

If you don’t have a true gluten issue, not eating it at all can hurt you. Your body may not be able to tolerate gluten when you finally do eat it. As for me, I eat it here and there  but choose to get most nutrients from vegetables.

If you have Celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, you will want to avoid some of these obvious and not so obvious gluten items:

Beer  * Breads  * Cakes and pies  * Candies  * Cereals * Cookies and crackers * Croutons * French fries * Gravies * Imitation meat or seafood *Matzo * Pastas * Processed luncheon meats * Salad dressings * Sauces, including soy sauce * Seasoned rice mixes * Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips * Self-basting poultry * Soups and soup bases * Vegetables in sauce *

You will also want to pay attention to these ingredients which are Latin words (how sneaky!) meaning wheat and may be listed on a label:

Triticum vulgare (wheat),  Triticale (cross between wheat and rye), Hordeum vulgare (barley), Secale cereale (rye), Triticum spelta (spelt, a form of wheat).

So far, my favorite gluten free pasta came from Target, I found excellent gluten free bread at Trader Joes. I have tried gluten free cookies and donuts thinking they were healthier choices but they are  not necessarily good for you! As always, do your research and read labels!

Tell me, are you gluten free?