Lifestyle

Gluten Free Foods – Are You Going Gluten-Free?

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Today many are going gluten-free whether for health reasons, weight loss or keeping up with the new trend. Madonna has recently announced a gluten-free diet serving a gluten-free food – the brownies version – at her 52nd birthday party last year and  Oprah and Gwyneth Paltrow have reportedly taken gluten out of their diets to “detox.”

CNN Health reports the story of a 20-something career mom from Australia named Sarah Cooper who, all of the sudden, found herself getting tired, developing acne and facing stomach problems.  After years of unsuccessful treatments, Cooper found a doctor who suspected celiac disease, a autoimmune issue that is caused by an allergy to gluten and can appear at any stage of life.

Although Cooper’s celiac disease test came back negative, she was advised to try a gluten-free diet anyway and within just on week, she noticed a positive difference.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye that damages the intestines and prevents vitamin and mineral absorption in those with celiac disease which can create a snowball of health problems.

The industry for gluten-free goods is expanding and Celiac.com’s website reports that Packaged Facts, a research firm, “calculates that U.S. retail sales of gluten-free products rose from just under 1 billion dollars in 2006 to $2.3-billion dollars in 2010” and by 2012 the market sales are estimated to reach $2.6 billion, doubling again by 2015.

Recently Olive Garden, among other chain restaurants, now offer a gluten-free menu and General Mills, the cereal company, claims to offer 250 gluten-free goods, including Chex, Betty Crocker and Bisquick brand names.  General Mills has also acquired the Larabar brand and wants to expand that gluten-free nutrition bar line.

Although local grocery chains offer some gluten-free products, Trader Joes and Whole Foods will carry the whole gamut.

Some foods that are safe to eat on the gluten-free diet are listed here from a Celiac.com article:

  • Agave
  • Alcohol (Spirits – Specific Types)
  • Alfalfa
  • Amaranth
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Artichokes
  • Baking soda
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Beans
  • Blue Cheese
  • Brown Sugar
  • Buckwheat
  • Butter (check additives)
  • Cane Sugar
  • Canola Oil (Rapeseed Oil)
  • Carbonated Water
  • Carob Bean
  • Cheeses – (most, but check ingredients)
  • Chestnuts
  • Chickpea
  • Chocolate Liquor
  • Cocoa
  • Coconut
  • Corn
  • Corn Syrup
  • Dates
  • Distilled White Vinegar
  • Eggs
  • Fish (fresh)
  • Flax
  • Grits, Corn
  • Hemp
  • Herbs
  • Honey
  • Hops
  • Horseradish (Pure)
  • Isolated Soy Protein
  • Lentils
  • Licorice
  • Maize
  • Masa Flour
  • Meat (fresh)
  • Milk
  • Millet
  • Non-fat Milk
  • Nuts (except wheat, rye & barley)
  • Oats
  • Oils and Fats
  • Paprika
  • Peas
  • Peanuts
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Salt
  • Seaweed
  • Seeds (except wheat, rye & barley)
  • Soy
  • Stevia
  • Tea
  • Tofu (Soy Curd)
  • Vinegar (All except Malt)
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Whey
  • Yeast
  • Yogurt (plain, unflavored)

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