Mind, Body, Spirit

My name is Darci Steiner and I am gluten intolerant. My last gluten-filled meal was 28 years, 5 months and 5 days ago (well, approximately). I am a member of the growing number of gluten intolerant citizens. We have a certain camaraderie, sharing recipes or our latest great GF food find. (Oh, by the way, have you tried the new GF crackers that just came out?)

We are a group of people who have at one time experienced undiagnosed digestive problems, diarrhea, maybe constipation, vomiting or a myriad of other health complaints. Gluten intolerance is difficult to diagnose.

You may have a had a negative result to a celiac disease blood test (celiac is a hereditary autoimmune disease which causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is consumed), but you still have digestive upset. Celiac disease has been ruled out, so you go home and have your fill of wheat pasta, barley soup and rye crackers.

But you still have digestive issues…

You did not test positive for celiac disease, but still you could be ‘gluten intolerant’.

Gluten-intolerance can be diagnosed through the process of elimination – an elimination diet.  If you suspect you are gluten intolerant and have tested negative for celiac disease, an elimination diet may confirm your suspicions. Certain foods are eliminated and then reintroduced to determine your tolerance of them. Other food allergies may also be determined with this method. This should be done with the help of a nutritionist to ensure that your nutrition requirements are met during the process.

Gluten foods include wheat, barley, rye, kamut, spelt, and oats (more on oats below). Both celiac and gluten intolerant folks need to avoid these grains to help heal their small intestine. You will feel free when these foods are avoided—gluten-free!

Question:  I have been told to stay away from oats on the GF diet, but a friend of mine just told me oats are fine. I’m confused; do they, or don’t they contain gluten?

Answer: Oats do not naturally contain gluten. However, they do contain a protein called avenin, which is similar to the gluten protein gliadin. Additionally, oats can become contaminated with gluten in the fields or silos by other grains, or during manufacturing. To be safe, oats are included on the ‘Foods to Avoid’ list for those who are gluten intolerant, unless they state specifically that they are gluten free.

There are sources of gluten-free oats you can purchase, such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oats, at a health food store. There are several different brands, and they are labeled accordingly.

Tip: Keep your oats in the freezer for freshness. They will last longer and provide more nutrients when you eat them!

 If you would like a nutritional consultation to help you transition to a gluten-free diet, or help determine gluten intolerance or other food allergies, here is the game plan for you:

1. Meal Assessment: We will review your current diet to assess changes that need to be made to follow the gluten-free diet protocol. For those who are uncertain if they have a sensitivity or intolerance to gluten, an elimination diet may be implemented.

2. Menu Plan: We will design a personal menu with seven breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, and snacks, as well as create a grocery list of delicious new foods for you to try.

3. Eating out, social gatherings, cooking: Eating out and cooking tips, handling social situations with ease and FREE chef and server communication cards!

Email me on my contact page if you are interested in having an online consultation.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

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