A reader wrote: “I am Celiac as well. What type of grains would be the healthiest to grind other than wheat to make bread?”
Here’s a quick summary of gluten-free options for those diagnosed with Celiac Disease:
1. Safe Gluten-Free Foods
Not all grains contain gluten. “Wheat-free” does not mean gluten-free.
It’s important to read labels and contact the manufacturer for information if there’s any question whether a specific food contains gluten. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (see information below) offers the following list of safe gluten-free foods:
- Grain, starches, flour products, and breads made from these ingredients: buckwheat, rice, corn, potato, tapioca, bean, sorghum, soy, arrowroot, amaranth, teff, quinoa, millet, nut flours.
—Hot cereals made with hominy, brown rice, white rice, buckwheat groats, millet, cornmeal, and quinoa flakes.
—Cold cereals made with puffed corn, rice, millet, and other rice and/or corn cereals made with non-gluten ingredients.
- Pastas made from rice and other non-gluten ingredients.
2. Foods You Should Avoid
- Wheat (durum, semolina)
- Oats (oats do not contain gluten, but are sometimes contaminated with glutens during processing)
3. Watch out for Hidden Glutens
It’s relatively easy to avoid breads and other products made with grains that contain gluten, but sometimes gluten hides in other food ingredients.
- Be cautious of foods containing textured vegetable protein (TVP), hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), caramel color, soy sauce, malt flavoring. and modified food starch.
- Products containing imitation seafood, vitamin supplements, and some prescription medicines often contain fillers made with gluten.
4. Creating A Gluten-Free Kitchen
With a little creativity, you can convert standard recipes to gluten-free recipes. Here are some ideas for substitution:
Instead of: flour-based thickeners
Substitute: cornstarch, arrowroot or sweet rice flour
Instead of: flour in baked goods
Substitute: gluten-free flours such as rice, potato or bean flours with the addition of small amounts of xanthan gum for texture
Instead of: 1 C. wheat flour
- 7/8 C. rice flour
- 5/8 C. potato starch flour
- 1 C. soy flour plus ¼ C. potato starch flour
- ½ C. soy flour plus ½ C. potato starch flour
- 1 C. corn flour
- 1 scant C. fine cornmeal
- 1 C. gluten-free flour mix:
- 2 parts white rice flour, 2/3 part potato starch flour and 1/3 part tapioca flour
5. Gluten-Free Products
Listed below are a few of the brands and product lines available at different grocery stores:
Amy’s frozen entrees
Arrowhead Mills baking mixes, cereals
Bob’s Red Mill baking mixes
Casbah rice pilafs
Country Choice cookies
Edward & Sons rice snacks
Fantastic Foods rices
Glutano pastas, cookies, breads, cereals, snacks
Gluten-Free Pantry baking mixes
Hain rice cakes
Health Valley cereals, rice crackers, soups
Lundberg Family Farms rice chips/cakes, noodle and rice mixes
Nature’s Highlight snacks
Nature’s Path cereals
Pacific Organic soups
Pamela’s cookies, baking mixes
Soy Dream non-dairy beverages
Tinkyada brown rice pastas
6. Support and Information
If you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease you should schedule a consultation with a registered dietitian. Organizations such as the Celiac Disease Foundation and others offer tips on coping, recipes, sources for gluten-free products, and information about local support groups in your area.
7. Resource Information
Celiac Sprue Association
P.O. Box 31700
Omaha NE 68131-0700
Telephone: (877) 272-4272
Celiac Disease Foundation
13251 Ventura Blvd., #1
Studio City CA 91604
Telephone: (818) 990-2354
Gluten Intolerance Group
15110 10th Ave. SW, Suite A
Seattle WA 98166-1820
Telephone: (206) 246-6652
The American Dietetic Association
National Center for Nutrition and Dietetics
Consumer Nutrition Hotline: (800) 366-1655
8. Sources for Medical Information
A variety of medical journals and sources for research are available on the Internet:
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Finally, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has as its mission to raise awareness and funding for celiac disease; to fund research, education, and screening; to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by this auto-immune disease through research grants and direct assistance to celiac organizations.