Getting Started Gluten Free
Gluten sensitivity is an immune reaction to gluten, showing up as antibodies against a sub-protein of gluten – gliadin. Gluten sensitivity which causes intestinal damage primarily is called Celiac Disease. But gluten can destroy other tissues such as myelin, cartilage, skin, vascular endothelium (blood vessels), liver, etc., and even cause nerve damage. Most people who are gluten sensitive do NOT have primarily intestinal problems.
The most obvious sources of gluten are: Wheat, Rye, Barley, Spelt, Kamut. Corn and oats are contaminated at rate of 98%, so you need to get these from a gluten free source.
Gluten can be hidden in: soy sauce, beer, food starches including modified food starch, food emulsifiers, food stabilizers, artificial food coloring, malt extract, flavor, syrup, dextrins, and many drugs. Be sure to check ingredient lists for hidden sources of gluten, even in things such as canned soup, salad dressing and all prepared foods. All vegetarian “meats” contain gluten. Some food stuffs that seem “safe” may not be, because of cross contamination in storage and processing, or by being a genetically modified organism (could be why corn is a problem). Gluten can also be inhaled from flour, and found in shampoos, lipsticks, envelope glue etc. Check packaging to find out if “Safe” foods are packed in a gluten free facility. A few red wines are clarified with gluten, so you need to check with your distributor. Communion wafers need to be gluten free.
On the bright side you may have plenty of vegetables, fruits, seeds, rice, nuts and berries, meats, eggs and dairy – a healthy way to eat! Rice flour, Hemp flour, and coconut flour are acceptable. Oats should be obtained from a Celiac disease farm.
Check these resources to find foods that OK for you as well as ones you need to avoid.
Benefit your Life (Shop: Farragut865 288 3193) Something Savory (Bakery: Maryville 865 984 0550)
Kroger, Earthfare and Apple Tree carry GF foods, as does GoNutrition(firstname.lastname@example.org)
Benefit Your Life store Farragut has a lot of GF resources. (www.benefityourlifestore.com)
And don’t forget your local library!