A gluten free diet is becoming more mainstream than ever for those with gluten intolerances or gluten allergies. Gluten free diets are designed around avoiding foods that contain wheat, oats, barley and rye or that have by-products of these foods in them. It has become an unfortunate necessity for people who suffer from certain health conditions to become aware of a gluten free diet.
Wheat is the main food to be eliminated in a gluten free diet. Wheat is made into flour and used to make bread, cookies, cake, pasta, crackers and bagels as well as many other foods and is added as a filler in many foods. Whether it is called white flour, whole wheat flour or bleached flour, the original substance is wheat and needs to be avoided. Look also for the word gluten in ingredient labels.
Oats are usually found as oatmeal and granola. It is also important to read ingredient labels looking for oats. You may also find oats in breakfast or protein bars. Also note there is some controversy as to whether or not oats have gluten in them. When you begin a gluten free program, it’s best to avoid it anyway and it can then be re-introduced when you feel better.
Barley is potentially more difficult to find. Barley is a grain and is made into barley soup and put into vegetable soups. Barley is also made into vinegar, white vinegar or distilled white vinegar and into barley malt as a sweetener. Acceptable vinegars when on a gluten free diet are balsamic, apple cider, red wine and rice vinegars.
Rye is an easy avoidance as it is mostly found in rye bread which is also made with wheat flour.
The main health conditions caused by or aggravated by gluten or linked to symptoms are Irritable Bowel Syndrome, any form of Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Dermatitis Herpetiformis, Eczema, Psoriasis, Rashes, Hives, Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Grave’s Disease and Hashimoto’s Disease and any other autoimmune inflammatory condition.