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Gluten-Free Diet: Health Benefits and Recipes

Written by Mita Majumdar, M.Sc. | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nithin Jayan, MBBS, DNB on Sep 20, 2018
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Gluten diet or gluten-free diet (GF diet) as the name suggests, is a diet that excludes foods containing gluten.

Gluten is a glue-y substance found in grass like grains such as wheat, barley, and rye, and is said to be responsible for triggering gluten sensitivity leading to conditions such as celiac disease. Gluten is made up of proteins glutenin and gliadin (in wheat), secalin (in rye) and hordein (in barley). The elastic nature of gluten helps to hold the flour together and gives it a chewy texture.

The most studied source of gluten is wheat, since 80 percent of its protein is made up of glutenin and gliadin. The structure and function of these proteins is such that it can trigger disorders in people who have gluten intolerance. Rice, corn, and other cereals too contain a certain amount of gluten but they are not considered as gluten food because they do not contain those specific proteins that are associated with celiac disease.

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Gluten-free Diet Plan

There are different gluten free diet plans to suit different needs. Some may like to use it to treat their disease while others may choose this diet for losing weight. Basically, this diet plan improves health, eliminates food cravings, tones the body, and helps maintain or lose weight.

Gluten-Free Diet - Health Benefits and Recipes

A GF diet is a low glycemic diet containing optimal levels of fats, sugars, and sodium. The total daily calorie intake is about 1200 to 1300 calories.

Gluten free diet plans range from 6 to 24 weeks.

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Foods to Eat

  • Non vegetable protein - Lean meat, fish, poultry, and fresh eggs
  • Low fat dairy products
  • Most fruits and vegetables, including potatoes, sweet potatoes, tapioca, etc.
  • Beans and legumes, such as black beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas, soy and soy products
  • Nuts and seeds including walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, pecans, sesame seeds
  • Cereals and grains including rice, rice bread, quinoa, amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, corn and cornmeal, flax, sorghum
  • Oils
  • Honey, sugar, and molasses
  • All spices and herbs
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Foods to Avoid
  • Wheat and whole wheat, wheat flour, wheat germ, wheat bran, wheat starch, semolina
  • Cakes, pies, cookies, croutons, crackers, and candies
  • Processed meat and sausage, meat loaf
  • Baked beans
  • Sauces including soy sauce
  • Malt, malted milk, malt extract and flavoring
  • Beer
  • Marinades and salad dressings
  • Soups and soup bases
  • Icing / frosting
  • Dry roasted nuts

Oats too can be included in the gluten free diet, but ensure that the product you buy is gluten free.

References:

  1. Nutrition and healthy eating - (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/gluten-free-diet/art-20048530?reDate=20092018)
  2. Gluten-free diet reduces adiposity, inflammation and insulin resistance associated with the induction of PPAR-alpha and PPAR-gamma expression - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23253599)
  3. Effectiveness of the gluten-free, casein-free diet for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder: based on parental report - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22564339)
  4. Gluten-free diet: a new strategy for management of painful endometriosis related symptoms? - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23334113)


Latest Publications and Research on Gluten-Free Diet

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