Positive effects of gluten-free foods

gluten free

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye. A gluten-free diet is generally helpful for a person suffering from celiac disease which is an autoimmune condition. Where gluten damages the lining of the small intestine causing malabsorption. Excluding gluten-free food for such kind of a person may help resolve diarrhoea, bloating, abdominal pain and flatulence problems. For others who wish to cut gluten in their diet, it’s important to understand the effects on the nutrient part.

Avoiding foods containing gluten can lead to some nutritional deficiency like iron, folate, vitamin B12 like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, zinc and fibre.

People on a gluten-free diet should include some amount of probiotic either in natural form or supplements for beneficial gut and to reduce abdominal issues. So what are the foods which are allowed and restricted for the gluten-free diet are:

So what are the foods which are allowed and restricted for the gluten-free diet are:

Cereal & ProductsGrains include amaranth seeds, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, rice, sorghum Arrowroot, corn, soya, tapioca, sago, jowar, millets like ragi and maize.  Wheat, whole wheat, bran, barley, oats, pasta (macaroni, noodles, semolina, spaghetti), breads (white and whole wheat). All baked foods made from wheat, semolina – wafers and cones, pizzas, rusks, muffins, biscuits, buns, doughnuts, cakes.
Milk & productsCurds, yoghurt, buttermilk.Milk and milk products like cheese, cream, butter, paneer, ice cream.
Eggs, chicken, meat & fishAll fresh meat and poultry.Any preparation cooked in batter, bread crumbs, flour or sauce – sausages, burgers, and fish fingers, tinned and frozen meat.
Vegetables & FruitsFresh fruits and vegetables. Tinned fruit in natural juices or syrupsTinned vegetables in sauce, mayonnaise .Fruit pies.
Desserts & confectioneryHomemade pudding from permitted ingredients with custard, rice kheer, jelly.Bread pudding, pancake, pies soufflés, tarts, Chocolates.
BeveragesBlack Coffee, black tea, green tea.Malted drinks like horlicks, bournvita, instant drinking chocolate
Soups, sauce, & Gravy spreadsHomemade form permitted ingredients Peanut butterTinned, packed bottled sauces. Gravy mixes, ready to cook foods (soups, gravies), Sandwich spread and chocolate spread.
CondimentsCheck that no flour has been added to spices, homemade pickles.Ready mix curry powder, thickened pickles and chutney
Raising agentsYeastBaking powder
Nuts & savory snacksPlain nuts.Flavoured nuts.
Fat & oilsAll plant oils.Wheat germ oil and margarines.

Here are a few handy tips to help you out:

  • Firstly, have a positive attitude towards the diet. Think about all the food you can eat instead of dwelling on those which are no longer suitable.
  • To ensure a good supply of iron include pulse, lentils, nuts and green vegetables.
  • Avoid drinking tea with meals. Instead have fruit juice rich in vitamin C like orange, lemon with your major meals.
  • Whenever buying any product, check on the ingredient list for hidden forms of gluten. Simple words like malted barley and wheat solids will give you clues to avoid the product

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelloPost.)

Authored by Pavithra N Raj, Chief Dietician, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur