The following links (in red lettering) and information will help guide you through the gluten-free diet whether you have celiac disease, any other form of gluten intolerance, or if you are sensitive to gluten, for any other reason. If you have additional questions, please visit the links under the “Need Help?” page, found on the navigation menu.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. In addition, oats are made up of as much as 10% gluten (unless you use gluten free certified oats). Read more about oats in the article, Are Oats Gluten Free? Should I Limit My Consumption or Avoid Them?
How Can a Gluten-Free Diet Help Me?
A gluten free diet has helped many individuals with other conditions such as autism, fibromyalgia, any form of inflammation, and chronic pain, to name a few. A matter of fact if you have any autoimmune disease, a gluten-free diet may help you. Take a look at a few of autoimmune disease: celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, Hashimoto’s (hypothyroid), Grave’s disease (hyperthyroid), Lupus, and even Alzheimer’s. They all have one thing in common, inflammation.
If you have celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis, the two proteins in wheat that cause damage to your intestine are the gliadin and glutenin. Barley and rye have similar proteins that cause damage. It is unclear if any damage to the intestine of those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity/intolerance. The good new is that once on a gluten-free diet, the damaged intestine heal and regenerate.
Grains Containing Gluten
Your body is provided adequate nutrition while on a gluten-free diet as long as you choose a variety of food and grains with high nutritional values. The only grains you need to avoid are wheat, rye, and barley.
There are equivalent toxic protein fractions in barley and rye. Gluten damages the intestine of persons with celiac disease. It is unclear if it also causes damage to the intestine of persons with non-celiac gluten intolerance is. When all sources of gluten from these grains are removed from the diet, the intestine can regenerate, and normal function is usually restored. Research on oats indicates small quantities (half cup dry) are safe for use in the gluten-free diet. They should be clean and uncontaminated, meeting the FDA rule for gluten-free labeling.
Cheating on a Gluten Free Diet?
Many people on a gluten free diet cheat about once per month. You may be starving at a restaurant and reach for bread. Or you have a loss in your life and get depressed while grieving. Perhaps you had a bad day at work, or whatever makes you give up on your goals. You cannot expect to experience results or relief of physical symptoms if you cheat. Read the article, “Cheating on a Gluten Free Diet.”
Gluten Sensitivity, Gluten Intolerance, Celiac Disease and Other Conditions
If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, it means that you cannot tolerate any gluten, not even a crumb. In addition, gluten causes intestinal damage. If you are diagnosed with gluten intolerance, it means that you cannot tolerate even a crumb of gluten, but that gluten does not damage your intestines. Gluten sensitivity may mean you can eat a crumb of gluten, but gluten, in general, causes some sort of reaction to your body. Some people get bloated. Others get insomnia. Some people with multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia experience more pain or flare ups. Some children with ADHD become hyperactive, and others experience different symptoms, including depression, headaches or up to 300 other symptoms.
Cross-contamination defines the process of a gluten free product that has been exposed to gluten and now contains particles of gluten. This occurs on manufacturing lines, in restaurants that have other gluten products nearby, grains that are shipped in trucks that previously contain gluten grains, to name a few.
While the United States Federal Drug and Administration (FDA) finalized their gluten-free labeling rule in August 2014. However, they do not require that manufacturers test their products for gluten content. They must, however, guarantee their products to contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) gluten. Read more about labeling rules at the above link.
Are you wondering, “Is that gluten-free?” Sometimes it is necessary to contact a manufacturer. Know which ingredients may contain gluten but may not be exposed on labels.
This page explains which adult beverages may be labeled gluten free. Keep in mind the rules are made to protect those with gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Many others have reported they did not have a problem with distilled beverages that were derived from gluten grains. Decide for yourself and follow your body’s warning signals. Just be aware that some people with celiac disease do not show symptoms, but the damage is occurring silently. This is known as Silent Celiac.
This page provides substitutes for dairy as well as dairy-free ingredients to standard baking conversions for different types of sugar or sugar-free substitutes. Also, learn which gluten free flours and starches may be used for one another as a substitute. There you will find links to many other substitutes including eggs.
Use the gluten free flour conversion chart to convert gluten free flours and starches from cups to ounces or grams and vice versa. Measuring flour or other dry ingredients by weight is the most accurate method of measuring. When you scoop flour, it may become compacted and add much more to a recipe than is needed. Likewise, you may not add enough. Chefs and culinary experts weigh dry ingredients versus using measuring cups even with gluten ingredients. When you make it the first time, weigh your ingredients and then the next time you can expect the same results. Because not everyone has a kitchen scale, I use cups in my recipes but provide a conversion chart for those who weigh their ingredients. It also serves as a conversion for those in other countries who use metric measurements.
This page will teach you not only the varieties of flours to avoid, but a long list of ingredients to avoid. Learning to read product labels can be tricky at first, but if you use this list as a guide a number of times, you’ll remember what to avoid on a gluten-free diet.
An extensive two-page long list of frequently purchased products from flour to canned green chiles and cold cuts to brands of gluten free bread and pasta.
(I will be adding more and more information soon.)
How to Maneuver this Site
To the left of every page on desktop computers and via the three white bars on mobile phones, you will discover links to the most popular pages.
Gluten Free Recipe Index:
If you are seeking to avoid an allergen, whether it is one of the major allergens such as dairy or soy or even corn, visit the Gluten Free Recipes Index. There you will also discover menu categories such as dinner and desserts or more precisely such as pies, bread, and more. If you are on a low-fat, grain-free, or low-sodium diet, there are categories for those, as well. Perhaps you are vegan, raw or vegetarian? There are categories for you, as well.
Gluten Free Online Store:
For gluten free food products or ingredients that are safe (meaning the manufacturer states they are safe, or I have contacted them personally), visit Carla’s Gluten Free Online Store. I also carry convenient kitchen items that make gluten free baking and cooking easier. You will find such items as spring-action scoopers to help you portion out sticky gluten-free dough, pastry scrapers to lift flimsy, hard to transfer dough, as well as fun things such as KitchenAid stand mixers to whip air into gluten free bread dough. It is my personal Amazon store where I earn a very tiny commission. This includes the links to items on Amazon in recipes on this site.
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