Gluten Intolerance and Healthy Food Choices

Gluten intol­er­ance is a con­di­tion that arises when a person’s body can’t prop­erly digest the pro­tein gluten. This can cause the per­son to expe­ri­ence an autoim­mune reac­tion called Celiac dis­ease, which leads to mal­ab­sorp­tion of nutri­ents. When a per­son with Celiac dis­ease ingests gluten, their immune sys­tem reacts by attack­ing the villi (respon­si­ble for nutri­ent absorp­tion) in the small intes­tine. Other com­mon symp­toms of gluten intol­er­ance are weight fluc­tu­a­tions and gastro-intestinal prob­lems. There is no cure but a proper gluten-free diet will con­trol the symptoms.

A gluten– free diet is a diet free from wheat, bar­ley, or rye.

Safe foods include:

  • Fresh, canned, or frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Almond flour
  • Bak­ing soda
  • Dairy
  • Corn­meal and corn
  • Quinoa
  • Pota­toes
  • Meat and poultry
  • Rice noo­dles
  • Seafood
  • Beans

Foods that may include gluten are:

  • Arti­fi­cial colors
  • Sauces and condiments
  • Dress­ings
  • Broths
  • Oats

Foods that should be avoided are:

  • Cereal
  • Baked goods
  • Beer
  • Pret­zels
  • Malt fla­vor­ing, extract, or vinegar
  • Pizza
  • Cous­cous
  • Gra­ham
    • Most impor­tantly be sure to look for prod­ucts that are specif­i­cally labeled gluten-free.