Tag Archives: gluten free diet

The Benefits of a Wheat Free Diet

If you’ve been given a celiac disease diagnosis, a wheat allergy, or gluten intolerance diagnosis, then it’s important for you to create a wheat free diet plan. One of the best ways to stay motivated as you begin to change your lifestyle is to understand some of the benefits you’ll gain as you begin a wheat and/or gluten free diet. In this article we’ll explore some of the benefits as well as provide a few tips for transitioning into a new way of cooking and eating.

Short Term Benefits
In a relatively short period of time you will notice a difference in how you feel. It may take a few months, but the symptoms you’ve been suffering from will disappear. It’s amazing what a simple gluten and wheat free diet can do for some people. You may notice you have more energy, feel more clearheaded, no longer have abdominal pain or digestive upset. Your overall feeling of well being will likely increase.

Long Term Benefits
Any time your body suffers from an autoimmune disorder it takes energy away from other things and weakens your system overall. By switching to wheat free diet foods you can reduce the stress of a constant autoimmune reaction. You will decrease your risks for related illnesses. If you have celiac disease this is particularly important as malnutrition can be a major risk factor and can lead to serious complications.

Wheat Free Diet Planning
There are a few things you can do to make your transition a bit easier.

  • Don’t do everything at once – Make slow, consistent changes that you can stick with. If your doctor has found that you have several allergies, gradually introduce substitutions but don’t try to immediately begin a dairy and wheat free diet all at once. You’ll quickly become overwhelmed. Pick a meal – let’s say breakfast – and for a week just change your eating with that meal. Then move to the next meal. You won’t notice the benefits as quickly but you want to have a plan for success.
  • Shop where you can find the items on your gluten free foods list. In the beginning convenience is everything. Some stores have better selection than others so try a few local stores or order from the internet.
  • Find substitutes for favorites. If you love pasta, find a gluten free pasta you can enjoy. If you like having beer a few nights a week, realize it’s OK to have gluten free alcohol.
  • Get support. There are many local gluten free support groups around the country. Having a regular meet-up with others can really help your motivation. You can quickly get new tips, find great celiac recipes and meet new friends.

The biggest benefit of a wheat free diet is improved health both in the short term and the long term. Get organized, make a plan and you’ll be well on your way to feeling great.

The Truth about Celiac Sprue

If you believe that you may be suffering from celiac sprue (also referred to as celiac or coeliac disease) then read on. In this article we’ll explain what celiac sprue is, what the common symptoms are and the best known way of treating this potentially life threatening disease.

What is Celiac Sprue Disease?
Essentially, celiac sprue is a disease of the small intestines. In people with celiac disease, when a form of protein called gluten enters the small intestines, an immunological reaction occurs. This reaction causes inflammation of the small intestines which in turn destroys the lining. The lining is responsible for the absorption of nutrients. With a damaged or destroyed lining a variety of nutritional malabsorption symptoms can arise. This disease can be very serious. In advanced cases it is possible to die due to lack of nutrition. If you think that you or someone in your family may have celiac sprue disease, please consult your physician as soon as possible. They will be able to perform a few blood tests and possibly a simple intestinal biopsy to accurately diagnose your condition.

Celiac Sprue Symptoms
Since celiac sprue impacts intestinal function, many of the symptoms can be related to digestive or nutritional issues. While not everyone has all of these celiac disease symptoms, and some individuals don’t even manifest any symptoms, these are the most common symptoms.

  • Weight loss or emaciation
  • Abdominal pain, particularly a few hours after consuming gluten
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Nutritional absorption issues like Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Absent mindedness
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Failure to thrive or stunted growth in children

Celiac Sprue Diet
The best way to treat celiac sprue disease is to carefully follow a strict gluten free diet. Gluten is a protein found in some cereal grains such as wheat, barley and rye. Most people with celiac sprue disease also avoid oats because most oats are processed along side gluten containing grains and become contaminated. At first, the idea of a diet that does not contain wheat sounds daunting. However, there is an ever expanding variety of gluten free foods on the market in addition to all the naturally occurring gluten free food. The key is to try new things – whether it’s cooking quinoa for the first time or making bread with brown rice flour, being open minded can make all the difference.

Celiac sprue is a serious condition, but fortunately it is treatable. Most doctors recommend that patients immediately begin a gluten free diet. Since there are so many processed foods on the market that contain gluten, it is wise to begin by cooking your own meals and then slowly branch out into eating processed foods as you learn about foods containing gluten. Once you adjust to gluten free cooking you’ll find that living a gluten free life is not so difficult after all – and it’s well worth the health benefits.

What is Sprue?

Sprue is a name given to a disorder where nutrients are unable to be absorbed and results in weight loss, diarrhea and can lead to emaciation and death. In this article we’ll talk about celiac sprue and how it’s different from other forms of sprue, give an overview of symptoms and the diet that is typically recommended for treatment. Sprue is the most serious of all gluten intolerance disorders and should not be taken lightly.

What is Celiac Sprue?
There are two forms of sprue – tropical and celiac. Tropical sprue is an infection that can be either viral or bacterial. While tropical sprue and Celiac sprue can have similar symptoms their causes and treatments differ greatly. In this article we will focus on Celiac sprue which is caused by a body’s reaction to certain proteins called gluten that are found in wheat, rye and barley. Both forms of sprue cause nutrient malabsorption and cause weight loss and can even lead to death.

Celiac Sprue Symptoms
Symptoms can vary greatly depending on the person. However, here is a list of the more common symptoms. Remember that not everyone has all the symptoms and some people do not present any symptoms at all.

  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss or emaciation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas and Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • A severe, itchy rash
  • High liver levels in blood tests
  • Stunted growth or developmental delays in children

Celiac Sprue Diet
The only known way to treat celiac sprue is to follow a very careful gluten free diet. You may be wondering, what is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in certain cereal grains like wheat, rye and barley. At first it may seem that there is gluten in everything. And it is true that gluten can be found in a wide variety of products, particularly breads and baked goods. However, when you start to think about all the food available, you will begin to realize how much food does not contain gluten. All fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, oils and dairy do not contain gluten. There is also a huge assortment of gluten free food available as well as gluten free flour if you like to do your own baking.

Celiac sprue materially impacts the ability to absorb nutrients. When a body does not receive the nutrition it needs a host of illnesses and complications can arise. From anemia to diabetes – celiac sprue is thought to contribute to a wide variety of diseases and can itself lead to malnutrition and can even be life threatening. If you’re concerned about celiac sprue, be sure to consult your physician who can provide a diagnosis and create a treatment plan tailored specifically for you.

5 Things to Know about Gluten Free Pasta

Learning to eat gluten free is an adjustment. While there is a definite list of dos and don’ts when it comes to eating right – the good news is that pasta is still on the list. Read on to find out how gluten free pasta is different, the types of brands available, where to get recipes and what to expect from gluten free pasta. While gluten free pasta may not be exactly the same as the wheat-based pasta you’ve been used to it’s a relief to know that gluten-free pasta is available as a replacement.

How is Gluten Free Pasta Different?
The main difference is that gluten free pasta does not contain wheat, rye, barley or any of the gluten containing grains. It also means that the pasta was not made on equipment that was shared with wheat products since cross contamination can be an issue.

Most gluten-free pasta is pretty similar to wheat pasta especially when prepared according to directions and served hot. Gluten free pasta can be used as a substitute in any recipe that calls for regular pasta. For dishes served cold, like gluten free pasta salad it’s a good idea to try a few brands of pasta and chill the leftovers to find brands that would work well. Try cooking quinoa as well. While not a pasta by definition it is a great for pasta salads.

Gluten Free Pasta Brands
If you’re interested in trying gluten free pasta made from rice try any of the following brands:

  • Notta
  • Lundberg
  • Tinkyada

For pasta made from corn, try:

  • Glutano
  • DeBoles
  • Ancient Harvest

There are a few brands that make a wide variety of pasta like Hodgson Mill and Some stores, such as Trader Joe’s also have their own house brand of gluten free pasta. Most grocery stores that have a health food section also carry a selection of gluten free pastas.

Where to Find Gluten Free Pasta Recipes
If you’re interested in making your own pasta you’ll have no trouble finding a gluten free pasta recipe online. Most recipes call for a pasta maker, but you can also find recipes where you cut the pasta by hand after creating a gluten free dough. While you’re looking for pasta recipes, why not also look for a gluten free garlic bread recipe to go with your pasta dinner?

If you’re new to  gluten free cooking take heart that you don’t have to give up pasta. Enjoy spaghetti, lasagna, angel hair and even macaroni – all made from gluten free flours. Experiment with recipes you find online or try your own! Nothing beats the taste of freshly made pasta – especially when you know that it’s good for you.

A Shopper’s Guide to Gluten Free Products

When you first begin your adventure into a gluten free lifestyle, one of the best things you can do is try a wide variety of gluten free products. You’ll be amazed at the variety of items available. Try enough and you’ll be sure to find a few that you wished you’d known about sooner. In this article we’ll give you a partial gluten free products list, a few ideas of where to buy gluten free items and a few tips for trying new products.

List of Gluten Free Products
While there are plenty of foods that naturally don’t contain gluten (fruits, vegetables, meats, etc.) there are plenty of “favorites” like cookies and other baked goods that traditionally contain gluten. If you can think of a food product that is made from wheat, barley or rye, chances are there is a gluten free replacement on the market. Here is just a partial list of general foods that you can look for the next time you take a trip to your supermarket or health food store:

  • Biscuits
  • Wheat Free Bread
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Cornbread
  • Croutons
  • Cupcakes
  • Flour
  • Frosting
  • Gluten free candy
  • Garlic Bread
  • Granola
  • Hamburger and Hotdog Buns
  • Muffins
  • Pancakes
  • Pasta
  • Pies
  • Pizza Dough
  • Scones
  • Waffles

Where to Buy Gluten Free Products
Most supermarkets have a health food section these days and that is a good bet for where to find gluten free products. Some stores, like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have a bigger selection. Many towns also have a gluten free bakery. If you’re lucky enough to have one near by, take advantage! If you live in a rural area or your local grocery store doesn’t have a very wide selection online shopping can be a great resource. If you can think of a gluten free product, chances are you can order it online. When shopping online be sure to check into shipping policies. Some online merchants offer free shipping with larger orders so be sure to compare prices before ordering.

Trying New Gluten Free Products
Challenge yourself to try a new gluten free food every week. Changing your lifestyle can be challenging – but trying new foods can also be fun! Why not treat yourself to gluten free waffles tomorrow morning, or this weekend have a BBQ and enjoy your burger on a gluten free hamburger bun? You may even find some products you’d never thought of – like spaghetti made from corn! Who knows what kind of culinary experiences await you. Create a list of gluten free foods and add to it. Every meal can be an adventure when you have the mindset to try new things on a regular basis.