Gluten is one of the most discussed topics in today’s fitness/nutrition industry. Some say it is very bad for health while the rest argues that it harms only gluten intolerant ones. Despite what side do you refer to the list of naturally gluten-free food would be useful in both cases.
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a substance that is part of the protein of wheat, barley, rye and most other cereal crops. The more gluten is contained in flour, the easier it is to make dough that turns into air baking. Gluten content in premium wheat is up to 30%.
The body of some people perceives gluten as an allergen. The key symptoms of intolerance are a drop in immunity and a malfunction of the gastrointestinal tract. Some sources also suggest that gluten can be harmful to ordinary people. We’ll discuss this in another article.
So, if you decided (obliged) to eat only gluten-free products, let’s first where you can find it.
Products with gluten
Any food products made from wheat, rye and other grain crops contain gluten. It is believed that the average person consumes from 10 to 40 grams of gluten per day – most of it falls on such products as bread and other baked goods, pasta. Ultimately, up to 10-15% of their dry weight is gluten.
Also, in quantities sufficient to cause allergies, gluten as a thickener can be part of ketchup, sauces and other products (including ice cream) – in this case it is often referred to as “modified food starch” or “hydrolyzed protein”. Among other things, gluten particles can enter the product during production.
Where Gluten Is Contained:
- any kind of wheat
- rye, barley, oats
- many sweets
- thick yogurts
- thick sauces
- semi-finished meat
- ready-made vegetable soups
- some alcoholic drinks
Gluten in oatmeal
Oats are also a cereal crop. Its composition contains proteins of the gluten group – prolamins. More specifically, oatmeal contains avenines. By their structure, these substances are close to wheat gliadins and rye secalin. That is, a gluten-like substance in oatmeal is contained. However, in most cases, the body of people with celiac disease is still able to digest and absorb this substance.
The role is played by the fact that the biological activity of avenins varies depending on a number of factors – the variety and method of growing a particular plant, as well as the distribution of grain structure and combination with amino acids. At the same time wheat gluten, often gets into oatmeal during grinding of grains, since the process is carried out on the same equipment.
Now let’s see what food is gluten free.
List of Naturally Gluten-Free Food
The list of naturally gluten free foods include all types of meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, pseudo-cereal crops (primarily buckwheat and quinoa), rice, corn, peas and other legumes, all nuts, vegetables and fruits. However, it is important to understand that we are talking about products without processing – for example, corn flakes may contain gluten, while pure corn does not contain it at all.
Similarly, if the meat itself (beef, pork, and so on) does not contain gluten, then meat cutlets most often contain it, since bread crumb is used in their preparation. Gluten is also absent in chicken, but in deep-fried chicken (especially in chicken wings) it may be present in the form of breading.
Complete naturally gluten free food list:
- beef, pork, chicken and other meat
- all kinds of fish
- milk, kefir, natural yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, butter
- vegetable oils
- any vegetables
- rice, corn (including cornmeal)
- peas, soybeans, mung bean, beans
- buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum and other pseudo-cereal crops
- all kinds of nuts and seeds
- all kinds of berries
- all kinds of fruits and dried fruits
- dark chocolate
Gluten Free Diets
If a person has gluten intolerance (a disease called celiac disease), a strict gluten-free diet must be followed. The diet may include only goods from the list of naturally gluten-free food mentioned above. In this case, the rejection of gluten is becoming an increasingly popular method of “clean eating“, even for those people who do not suffer from celiac disease.
The most popular gluten-free diets are the paleo diet (the so-called “caveman diet” or “crossfiter diet”) and the keto diet – just like any carbohydrate-free diet. The exclusion of carbohydrates from the diet means the exclusion of products containing gluten. Nutrition is limited exclusively to meat food, all kinds of fats and vegetables.
Celiac disease – gluten allergy
An acute allergy to gluten and its products – a condition called “celiac disease” – occurs in about 1% of the population, or, on average, in one person out of 100-150. In such people, the use of even small doses of gluten (up to several grams of bread) can cause serious food allergies with unpleasant symptoms.
It should be noted that scientific research suggests that gluten intolerance is a genetic disease, inherently similar to an allergy to lactose. In other words, if your parents or relatives have celiac disease, you are probably also affected.
- rare genetic disease
- characterized by violations of the digestive tract
- reduces immunity
Gluten Allergy – Symptoms
Most symptoms of gluten intolerance relate to various disorders of the digestive system after eating gluten-containing foods – from regular bloating and indigestion to chronic diarrhea. In most cases, the stool becomes pale and foamy, it has a sharp unpleasant odor.
Secondary symptoms of gluten allergy are chronic headaches, excessive hair loss, decreased immunity, and decreased metabolism. Unfortunately, the diagnosis of celiac disease is most often difficult, and many who suffer from it do not even realize that gluten harms their body. In addition, gluten intolerance can occur after illness or pregnancy.
Gluten intolerance – how to identify?
The easiest home-made way to detect gluten intolerance is to switch to a gluten-free diet (consume only those products from list of naturally gluten-free food) and completely exclude all bread and any other gluten-containing foods from the diet for two weeks, as well as a careful assessment of your well-being. The subsequent return of gluten to the diet will be indicative – especially if you suddenly begin to feel its harm.
Since it takes 10-14 days to fully restore the intestinal microflora, if you are allergic to gluten, first you should feel better in your health, and after returning to normal foods, it will get worse. However, the only accurate method for detecting gluten intolerance is a medical test for celiac disease in a special clinic.
The Bottom Line Under The List of Naturally Gluten-Free Food
In order to negate the ingress of gluten into the body, you need to clearly understand which foods to stay away from. Dietitian Andrei Bobrovsky believes that manufacturers often add gluten to reduce production costs wherever possible, which is why it is found in the most seemingly unexpected products. Which ones?
- Sausages. This includes cooked, smoked and half-smoked sausages, ham, brawn, jellies, aspic, jellied meat, pastes, meat breads. Gluten is added due to its sticky properties, giving the product a form and a beautiful appearance.
- Frozen semi-finished products – dumplings, manti, dumplings, khinkali. The dough, as a rule, is made from wheat or rye flour, and gluten helps the meat filling not to fall apart.
- Bakery products. This includes pasta, bread, pies, rolls, donuts, bagels, crackers, bread sticks made from wheat, rye and barley flour.
- Sauces: tomato paste, ketchup, mayonnaise. To give them viscosity, starch is added, which contains vegetable protein.
- Confectionery. These are biscuits, cakes, pastries, chocolate, sweets, cookies, gingerbread cookies, biscuits, waffles, halva, jam, marshmallows, caramel, pastille, muffins. Each product contains either wheat or rye flour or starch.
- Beer drinks. Beer or ale is brewed with barley.
- Milk products. Factory yogurts and ice cream. Everything that is manufactured industrially.
- Processed meat products, minced meat and canned food. Preservative is present in these products as much as possible.
With such a massive use of gluten in the food industry, the question arises – how people with intolerance to this substance do not to starve? Is there an alternative to it, and what is the replacing, for example, in the USA?
Nutritionists believe that the rescue of gluten intolerance sufferers is in natural nutrition and the purchase of gluten-free products (but only from trusted suppliers).
Sources used to make a list of naturally gluten-free food
- Gilissen LJWJ, van der Meer IM, Smulders MJM. Why Oats Are Safe and Healthy for Celiac Disease Patients. Med Sci (Basel). 2016;4(4):21.
- How much gluten is in a normal diet, and how much does it take to cause damage in a celiac?
- Freire RH, Fernandes LR, Silva RB, et al. Wheat gluten intake increases weight gain and adiposity associated with reduced thermogenesis and energy expenditure in an animal model of obesity. Int J Obes (Lond). 2016;40(3):479‐486. doi:10.1038/ijo.2015.204
- Decamps K, Joye IJ, De Vos DE, Courtin CM, Delcour JA. Molecular Oxygen and Reactive Oxygen Species in Bread-making Processes: Scarce, but Nevertheless Important. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2016;56(5):722‐736. doi:10.1080/10408398.2013.795929
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