What is commonly known as gluten, is a protein which is extracted from wheat and other types of grains by washing the starch from the grain. As you are probably aware, there are some folk who cannot properly digest this protein, and suffer from something called “celiac disease.”
This is an inflammatory condition of the small intestine and people who suffer from it have to put a halt to ingesting it and then only consume gluten-free foods, meaning foods which contain the likes of wheat, rye, or barley.
But Not All Grains Must Be Avoided
And whilstthose who are on a gluten-free diet cannot eat anything at all which consists wheat, rye, or barley,(That includesnearly all commercially prepared cakes and pastries), there are some grains and flours which contain no gluten.
These include the likes of:
- Potato flour
Nowadays, a lot more cakes, biscuits, and cereals are readily available which have been made without any gluten, making them perfectly suitable for everyone.Check out Juvela’s Gluten Free Food Range, for a great variety of foods and more.
There has been a great deal of debate on the question of oats. Natural oats are indeed a gluten-free food product, but the problem lies in whether they have come into contact with wheat somewhere along the manufacturing process, where they are then considered “contaminated.”
Nearly all dairy products are deemed gluten-free, minus things such as cheese spreads, a number of flavoured milks, and custards. Meat is a gluten-free food and only when it is processed, does it become an avoidable food source. (As in sausages, meat pies, frozen meats, pasties and chicken broth, where gluten is usually added in one form or another)
Fruit is practically the same, as are vegetables, and nuts. Without being added to any sauces, starches, or thickeners, they are all naturally gluten-free foods and a great source of nourishment.
Today, it has become common to add some wheat flour to tinned fruits and vegetables and this is supposedly used to help in processing or as a binder. (And is quite commonly not mentioned clearly on the label). To get around this, you should only purchase brands which include a clearly detailed label, or ones which are marked as being gluten-free.
With the exception of malt vinegar, practically all condiments are classed as being gluten-free foods.
- This means tomato paste, tahini, maple syrup, and various salad dressings.
- Herbs and spices are fine unless they have been adulterated with artificial flavourings containing gluten.
Beer should certainly be avoided unless it is labelled as being gluten-free. The majority of other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages don’t usually contain gluten.
Those people out there who do not eat gluten should do their very best and try to use fresh ingredients and be more knowledgeable of exactly what’s in the food they’re eating. (Something maybe we should all think about!)