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.