By Steven Horne, RH (AHG) & Kimberly Balas, ND
Gluten is a protein structure found in wheat and other
gains. The inability to handle gluten causes Celiac disease,
but is also involved in other inflammatory bowel disorders.
Gluten intolerance can cause inflammation in the joints, skin, respiratory tract and brain without any obvious gut symptoms. Gluten may also trigger autoimmune reactions in Hashimoto's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other problems.
Since there are no nutrients in gluten-containing foods that you can't get more easily and efficiently from foods that don't contain gluten, there are no nutritional deficiencies one could develop by avoiding gluten. There are, however, many potential health benefits to avoiding or eliminating it.
Foods containing gluten include: wheat (includes bulgur, durum flour, farina, graham flour, semolina), barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley), rye, triticale (a cross between wheat and rye), spelt and kamut.
Alternatives to gluten-bearing grains include all of the following non-gluten grains and grain alternatives: amaranch, buckwheat flour, corn (hominy and corn meal), flax, millet, potato flour, quinoa, rice, sorghum, soy flour and teff.
Many foods contain wheat or other gluten-bearing grains so you need to be vigilant in looking at ingredients. Look for foods that say "gluten-free" on the package. Ask about gluten in foods when eating out at restaurants.
Below is a list of suggested products. Those in bold are key products for the health issue explained on this page.
Foods: Meal Replacement (Love and Peas)
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