Wheat, barley and rye grains, or their extracts are used in many manufactured products. Wheat flour is used to thicken or bulk-up foods that don’t appear to contain flour such as sausages, baked beans and some canned vegetables. Malt made from barley is used extensively in manufacturing as a natural colouring, flavouring and sweetening agent.
Sushi has malt vinegar used to enhance the flavour of the rice before rolling. The biggest frustration though, is gluten-containing maltodextrin, which is used in a huge variety of processed foods. Nachos often come with maltodextrin-flavoured powder. As do some varieties of chocolate, rotisserie chickens, bacon and even home-brewed beers. Sorry beer fans, hops are from the wheat family and contain gluten (!). This is probably why I used to get bloated when I drank beer.
Fresh meat, fish, chicken, pork, eggs, milk, cheese, fruit and vegetables, potato, rice, corn, quinoa, buckwheat, tapioca (from the cassava root), amaranth, soy, polenta, millet, sorghum, maize, rice cakes, rice crackers, corn flour, corn thins, rice noodles, rice pasta, corn pasta, gluten-free muesli and cereals, butter, margarine, oils, salt, peppers, herbs, spices, garlic, nuts, seeds, jam, honey, nut butters, glucose, golden syrup, tea, coffee, herb teas, fruit juice, vegetable juice, plain popcorn, plain salted potato chips, gluten-free chocolate and gluten-free ice cream. Barley grass and wheat grass are both incredible health-giving superfoods and are 100% gluten-free.
Gluten-Containing Foods (or foods that often have gluten added to them)
Wheat, rye, barley, spelt, wheat germ, bran, semolina, couscous, malt, malted barley, tabouli, durum wheat, most breakfast cereals, sausages, rissoles, fish cakes, any food fried or cooked with breadcrumbs, breadcrumbs, pasta and wheat-based noodles, pizza base, pastry, croutons, pancakes, bread and baked products, marmite, vegemite, cornflakes, stuffing, trifle, sponge, cheese spread, soy sauce, packet sauces, packet gravy, barley waters, homemade beer, milkshakes, flavoured milk, most lollies and sweets, soups, takeaways, pretzels, crackers, instant meals, most French fries and anything containing maltodextrin.
Oats are often ok
Historically, people with gluten-intolerance were advised not to eat oats. Oats do not contain the irritating gluten and lack many of the irritating cereal protein prolamines found in wheat. However, oats do contain the prolamine avenin which can be toxic to the intestinal sub-mucosa and can trigger a reaction in some celiacs. A number of studies have confirmed that a moderate amount of oats – around 40-60g a day – are not harmful to some celiacs (who cannot tolerate any gluten at all), although highly reactive people are still advised to avoid them.
Gluten-Free Cooking Tips
Maize corn flour and pea flour is useful for thickening soups, sauces, shortbread-type biscuits or blended for baking. Arrowroot when cooked forms a fine, clear gel, is useful for thickening fruit sauces and syrups. Rice flour helps provide a good brown colour to cooked food and is best used blended with other gluten-free flours for shortbread and pikelets. Cornmeal provides a more grainy texture for baked toppings and is also good combined with other flours. Ground millet is good for thickening or in baking. So there is a huge healthy variety of gluten-free foods to choose from!
REMEMBER: It’s really important that you deal with your body and your health issues. Do not compare yourself with others. You are biochemically and genetically unique. You have to learn what works for you — and you alone — and then you are on your way to true health. You should always adjust your foods based on how you feel mentally and physically after consuming them. No one diet works for everyone. Some folks can eat gluten no problem; for others, gluten make them sick and tired. If, after a meal, you feel bloated, tired, nauseous, or depressed, then your meal was not ideal. Ultimately you will tweak and figure out the perfect mix of foods that suits you the best..
The more you consider excluding from your diet, the more new and exciting super-nutritious foods you discover to fill the holes! Amazing new foods like tofu, quinoa, home-grown sprouts, miso soup, amaranth, tamari-roasted pumpkin seeds, tahini, linseed, spirulina and many more. Food elimination diets force you to open your mind and try new foods. After 12 months you will have a good idea of how foods affect you. If you try a large amount of any suspected food in one day, how your body reacts will determine the truth. It will give you an instant indication if it is a food that serves you or weakens you.
Once you are aware of and understand your food intolerances you can create the perfect diet to suit your biochemical individuality.
Jason wishes to deeply thank, acknowledge and recognise the effort and contribution that the PIF Foundation has provided on a voluntary basis since 2014, as we educated, motivated and inspired change that helps transform the health, vitality and longevity of people all over the world.