I have two nephews (my brothers children) who are coeliac. I distinctly remember the eldest one at about 2 years of age. He was so skinny you could see his ribs and yet he had this huge bloated belly and was dreadfully pale and not thriving. The youngest son, went undiagnosed for many years as his manifested as a skin problem (dermatitis herpetiformis) and not the usual digestive complaints.
Gluten is a combination of proteins of which gliadin is the most common and is predominantly found in wheat. It is the gluten component of the bread that we eat that makes it light and fluffy – hence, the more fluffy the bread is, the more gluten it contains. It is this gluten also that gives the dough it’s “stretch” which is why gluten-free doughs are usually like cardboard. It is the gliadin component of gluten that triggers the immune reaction in sensitive people. The proteins found in rye, barley and possibly oats are very similar to gliadin and they too damage the bowel of people with coeliac disease.
Oats – are they gluten-free?
Oats contain proteins similar to gliadin, but in much smaller amounts than wheat, barley and rye. While uncontaminated oats that haven’t been near wheat products can be tolerated by some coeliacs in moderate amounts, it is often safest to leave them off the menu.
MSG which is used as a meat tenderiser and flavour enhancer is gluten-free but can create food sensitivity problems of other kinds.
As far as food labels are concerned if it says “starch” it refers to cornstarchand as such is gluten-free.
CEREALS,GRAINS or GRAIN SUBSTITUTES that are Gluten-free
Amaranth is derived from a herb and high in nutritional value.
Buckwheat is actually a fruit despite what the name suggests and is most popularly found ground as flour. Kasha is the result of the hulled seed (groats) of the buckwheat plant being roasted. Soba Noodles are the Japanese noodles made from buckwheat. Caution: Buckwheat flour is often found combined with wheat flour so make sure you read the label.
Maize and corn are the same thing and what is used to make Polenta.
Millet is a seed and is often found puffed as a breakfast cereal or ground into flour
Montina is the “brand name” of flour made from Indian rice grass
Quinoa is a seed not a grain but can be eaten as a whole grain or ground into flour
Rice & Rice Bran
Sorghum or MILO is gluten-free and nutritious. It can be found ground into flour, cooked into porridge or eaten like popcorn. Sorghum is the grain used to make gluten-free beer.
Tapioca is made from the root of the cassava plant and is often ground to a starch or flour used for baking. I grew up on Tapioca pudding.
Teffis a nutritious grain that is native to Ethiopia. It can be eaten whole as a cereal or ground into flour.
FLOURS that are Gluten-free
MISCELLANEOUS FOODS that are Gluten-free
Baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, citric acid, cream of tartar, curry powder, dressings, flavouring essences, glucose syrup, herbs, honey, jams, maltodextrin, marmalade, molasses, mono and diglycerides, MSG, nut butters, pepper, pure salt, pure spices, vinegar and yeast
THICKENERS that are Gluten-free
Arrowroot comes from the root of a herb
Guar gum is made from guar bean
Lecithin is usually made from soy
Coeliac disease is an auto-immune disease believed to affect 1 in 100 Australians, but many, in fact an estimated 75% are undiagnosed. In a person who has coeliac disease, the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten and results in small bowel damage. There are little hairs called villi on the end of the absorption sites in our intestines and in a person with coeliac disease these villi become flattened resulting in a loss of absorption of valuable nutrients, malnutrition and malabsorptive symptoms such as bloating and wind. At the moment there is no cure for coeliac disease and the person has to avoid gluten for life. Coeliac disease sufferers should supplement with Folic Acid and Zinc.
Date posted: 2014-03-28 | posted by: debras