What is gluten? People say it’s bad, so should I avoid it and what are good alternatives? Kristin Burgess, RD will answer all of your questions about this grain.
What foods contain Gluten?
Any product made with wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Gluten is also used as a food additive to thicken various products. For this purpose, gluten is found in many unexpected foods such as ketchup.
What starches do not contain gluten?
Corn, brown rice, potatoes, amaranth, arrowroot, millet, gluten-free oats, quinoa and nut flours. Many believe that one may consume sprouted grains (including sprouted wheat) while following a gluten-free diet. I suggest trying a small amount (one slice of sprouted bread) and see if any side effects occur. Research shows that oats are gluten free, but they do contain a protein called avenin that has a similar structure to gluten. When dealing with celiac disease, talk to your doctor about consuming oats.
Should I avoid gluten?
Not unless you have celiac. It is best to limit gluten and include many different grains in your diet, besides wheat. The problem with gluten is that too much is consumed; bread, crackers, bars, tortillas, chips, cereals, pasta, etc. Instead of whole wheat bread, choose sprouted grain bread. Instead of whole grain pasta, choose gluten free pasta (not because there is magic in gluten free pasta but to get a variety of grains in your diet). In addition, add more fruit, vegetables and nuts to your diet.
How do I choose products and cook gluten-free?
- Read food labels and look not only for the words “gluten free” but also read the ingredient list for any gluten-containing starches such as wheat, barley and rye. Never assume a product is gluten free.
- Any alternative flour (almond flour, brown rice, etc) can be substituted into a recipe.
- Most grocery stores have a section for gluten-free breads, cereals, bars, pasta, etc.
Are you looking to eat healthier and feel more energized from your diet? Try LEAN, this six-week program to help you eat better and look better at the same time. Contact Kristin Burgess at 303.770.2582 x382 to learn more.