Please help with gluten free diet.

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redspot321
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 10/23/2007 7:58 AM (GMT -7)   
I want to try a gluten free diet but have become overwhelmed researching this topic....
 
Is there a site out there that plainly states what foods are gluten free and what are not?

jdiane
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Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 1131
   Posted 10/23/2007 10:01 AM (GMT -7)   
I'd check out Celiac.com
 
 


starrnr
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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1782
   Posted 10/23/2007 10:18 AM (GMT -7)   
You can also type in "gluten free foods" in google and get a listing of all sorts of sites. That's what I did and it helped immensely. Good luck.
Some days you're the bug, some days you're the windshield

Remicade every 6 weeks, Methotrexate weekly, Folic Acid daily


ozonehole
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Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 559
   Posted 10/23/2007 10:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Gluten is found almost exclusively in wheat, rye, and barley. In theory, that's all you need to avoid. However, processed foods (the majority of the crap for sale at Wal-Mart) is likely to have gluten added. Could be in everything from "nutrition bars" to candy. So at the very least, you've got to get used to reading ingredient labels. Better yet is learning to make your own food.

Another problem is that grains that don't contain gluten (corn, rice, oat, buckwheat, millet) might be contaminated by it if handled in the same food-processing facilities that mill wheat, rye and barley. At least in the case of rice, you might do better to buy it from an Oriental market (the imported rice is probably handled at a facility that just does rice). And the Asian short-grain rice is actually tastier than California long-grain rice in my opinion.

I'f you're going to eat oats, I recommend steel-cut oats. Look for it at health food stores. Takes at least 30 minutes to cook (hint: the night before, put it in water, bring to a boil, shut it off and cover - it will be ready to eat in the morning).

Wikipedia has a page on gluten:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten

best regards,
Robert
Crohn's since 1988
3 resections


rootsmith
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Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 598
   Posted 10/23/2007 10:40 AM (GMT -7)   
After awhile you will catch on, especially if you concentrate mainly on foods without packaging. Alternative pastas are quite tasty. Quinoa/corn is good, so is brown rice pasta. Plain rice pasta is a little blah. I think soybean pasta is like rubber. I have not had much luck with breads though and have learned to eat without bread. Sometimes I use rice cakes like an open faced sandwich.

I don't eat gluten or food with cow's milk due to the casein protein. If I had a choice, I'd go gluten free over casein free anyday. I really miss those milk products but hardly give a thought to grains anymore. More and more products are coming on the market that are gluten free.

I have the hardest time with this diet with impulse eating and eating away from home. Its hard to pass up the platters of goodies that come out at work.
10 years, many tests, 3 gi doctors, Pentasa 1000mg 3x day
diovan, simvastatin and now trying good ol' zoloft


starrnr
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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1782
   Posted 10/23/2007 1:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I have to admit, it was quite difficult for me in the beginning. It's been about 5 months now and it seems like second nature. Even my husband watches for things for me to eat now. I'm careful when I go out to eat, but I'm still at the mercy of how things are cooked. I consider myself 95% gluten, wheat & dairy free -- taking into account those things which I have absolutely no control over. There are alot more gluten and wheat free things out there to eat (I have a great market that has loads of stuff) and it's really a matter of finding what tastes good to you. I found some great gf/wf snacks that I keep at home and in the office. That helps keep me away from the stuff I know I'm not supposed to have.

I have to agree with Rootsmith -- GF bread is just not the same. Although there is a brand that's not bad -- when you just have to have a slice of bread or PB&J sandwich! It tastes better toasted than not.

This whole thing is a matter of experimentation really. There are a few things I can "get away with" eating and it doesn't bother me too badly. On the other hand, there are some things which are absolute no-no's. *sigh* those are the things I miss the most...real bread, real pasta, etc.

On the dairy side - I eat organic yogurt once in a while, I seem to be able to tolerate that just fine. I don't eat anything else that is dairy though -- I miss cheese, but it was really turning me inside out (and I didn't even know it).

It's tough in the beginning, but you'll get the hang of it in no time.
Some days you're the bug, some days you're the windshield

RA, AS, intolerance/sensitivity to gluten, wheat and dairy.

Remicade every 6 weeks, Methotrexate weekly, Folic Acid daily


schoolgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 10/23/2007 1:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Celiac.com has a safe foods list towards the bottom of their menu options.  I haven't looked at in a while, but it explains the reality differences between the celiac association recommendations and living in the US.  For example, mono & diglycerides are made from corn in the US, but in other countries they could be made of wheat.
 
American oats are not recommended - they are highly cross contaminated with wheat.  Bob's Red Mill has just started distributing a gluten-free oats product that is available online.  Old Wessex Irish Oats are tolerated by some of us and found in most mainline grocery stores or health food stores.
 
I find Tinkyada brand brown rice pastas to be the best - the texture holds up.  I buy most of my online products from kinnikinnick out of canada.  Pizza crust, oreo-type cookies, breads, etc.  My gf baking attempts are not always the best.
 
The 2006 labeling law requires US manufactured products to list 8 major allergens, one of which is wheat.  this is very helpful, but be wary of products manufactured on the same lines as wheat products.  Unless they clean their equipment well, the cross contamination factor is still there.  Barley malt should also be avoided - the labeling law does not require barley.  That means no beer of course!  Although gf beers are available if you can find them.  Anhauser Busch is making RedBridge - a gf beer.  I can't find it in my area yet, though.
 
Delphi forums has a Celiac Online Support Group that has a list of foods and companies that have been checked out as "safe".  I found it very helpful when I started out.  It is a great forum.
 
If you stick with basic, whole foods at first, you will learn what you can add as you go.  It is getting easier and easier to find gluten-free foods in grocery stores - usually in the health food section - but sometimes it's just more starch and not necessarily good for Crohn's.  Some of the products are good, and some are awful.  But it depends on your taste.
 
GF breads must be toasted and/or warmed to be edible. 
 
I know how overwhelming the gluten-free adventure is at first.  And don't let the doctors tell you it can't be done.  It can - it just takes time and patience.
 
Hope this is helpful!
Dx with Crohn's Aug 2007; celiac sprue July 2002; Type II diabetes Nov 2006.  Current meds: Entocort, Asacol, Levoxyl, Fosomax, various vitamin supplements.


starrnr
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1782
   Posted 10/23/2007 2:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Schoolgirl - thanks for the references; they will help me as well. I have to admit, most of the GF stuff that I found that I liked is made OUTSIDE of the US. Most of the products are Canadian. There are a few brown rice items that I eat that are actually local to me, which is good.

I have a question about oats though - I thought that was a no-no? I love oatmeal (steel cut and Irish are my favorites) and have purposely stayed away from it. Is it worth testing out?

Boy, you guys sure are a fountain of info!

Thanks.
Some days you're the bug, some days you're the windshield

RA, AS, intolerance/sensitivity to gluten, wheat and dairy.

Remicade every 6 weeks, Methotrexate weekly, Folic Acid daily


schoolgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 10/23/2007 4:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, most of the products I like are Canadian also. It sounds like you are already doing well with finding things. The US is sort of "behind" when it comes to gluten-free. It is only recently that doctors are accepting that it is not as rare as once thought and products are available. It's almost a fad these days.

As far as oats go, many of us are torn. Some people say they eat the Irish oats without problem whereas others are very strict and refuse to take the risk. I was allowing myself to have the Old Wessex brand once or twice a week. But then my recent endoscopy showed that I still had mild blunting in the villi related to celiac so I've cut them out (along with a couple of other suspicious foods). The "official" consensus is that if they are not wheat-free dedicated farming, harvested and processed, they are not safe. The McCann's Irish oats are thought to be highly cross-contaminated, where the Old Wessex actually comes from Ireland and used to say "wheat-free". But I noticed their packaging has changed and they took the "wheat-free" symbol off.

Long story short - I'm ordering the gluten-free oats from Bob's Red Mill online. My gut really likes oats and since I have celiac and crohn's and IBS and diabetes.... I don't think I can go wrong with them.

Long answer to your question that may or may not help you... I get severe reactions from gluten, so it's easy for me to decide.
Dx with Crohn's Aug 2007; celiac sprue July 2002; Type II diabetes Nov 2006.  Current meds: Entocort, Asacol, Levoxyl, Fosomax, various vitamin supplements.


schoolgirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 10/23/2007 8:17 PM (GMT -7)   
<<I was allowing myself to have the Old Wessex brand once or twice a week>>

I meant to say once or twice a month. nono
Dx with Crohn's Aug 2007; celiac sprue July 2002; Type II diabetes Nov 2006.  Current meds: Entocort, Asacol, Levoxyl, Fosomax, various vitamin supplements.


rootsmith
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 598
   Posted 10/23/2007 9:06 PM (GMT -7)   
about the oats- it depends on how strict you have to be about avoiding gluten. I think with regular oats its the possibility of contamination with wheat that is the problem. If it were not for that I think oats might be okay. People with celiac disease have to be super careful- even the tiniest amount of gluten can keep the disease active and you don't have to have symptoms for that to be happening. but if you are restricting just to feel better, then it might be ok to experiment a little. I had IGG sensitivity tests done that showed strong reactions to all forms of wheat and rye, but I was ok with barley and oats. So technically I am just wheat free, although I also buy gluten free products.

I agree- the Tinkyada brown rice pasta products are great. I prefer them to regular pasta but I have to admit I miss pizza. Amy's makes a gluten free (rice crust) dairy free (soy cheese) pizza that is pretty good.

Starrnr- even though my IGG tests only showed a moderate reaction to cheese (except for cottage which was a strong reaction) I can't eat it either and I really miss it . I always get mouth ulcers when I do. Same with cow's milk yogurt. however, I can eat other yogurts i.e. goat or water buffalo
(expensive unless on sale) There is something about the ratio of the proteins that makes the difference.

Newman's Own makes great oreo type cookies. I can hardly tell the difference but they are only wheat free. I don't think they are gluten free.
10 years, many tests, 3 gi doctors, Pentasa 1000mg 3x day
diovan, simvastatin and now trying good ol' zoloft


starrnr
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1782
   Posted 10/23/2007 10:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm intolerant to gluten (not celiac though), sensitive to wheat & dairy. For me, it just made sense to not eat any of it than pick and choose which was the lesser of 3 evils. I do "try" things every now and then, just to see. Some things don't bother me as fast or as bad as others. That gives me some wiggle room, but overall, it's just not worth the pain and discomfort. Funny thing, once I eliminated those things from my diet, I almost immediately dropped a bunch of weight, which was a nice bonus. I eat pretty well considering the restrictions - still amazes me.

The Newman's Own cookies that are wheat free say in big letters -- not a gluten free product. I reached for them one day and almost got them until I saw that. I've seen Amy's stuff -- haven't had the nerve to try it yet. I may also try some oats - small portion to see how it works. I miss my hot cereal!!!

Thanks again for the info and suggestions. It helps tremendously.
Some days you're the bug, some days you're the windshield

RA, AS, intolerance/sensitivity to gluten, wheat and dairy.

Remicade every 6 weeks, Methotrexate weekly, Folic Acid daily


Razzle
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4392
   Posted 10/24/2007 1:27 AM (GMT -7)   
http://gflinks.com has a bunch of info about Celiac/Gluten Sensitivity, and living wheat/gluten-free. You also have to watch out for skin & hair care products, cosmetics, etc.

Take care,
-Razzle
Gluten & Sulfite Sensitivity, Multiple Food & Inhalant & Medication Allergies, Asthma, Gut issues (dysmotility, non-specific inflammation), UCTD (Lupus?), Osteoporosis, Anemia, Very Low Lymphocyte Counts (T-Cells & B-Cells), malabsorption/malnutrition, etc.
Meds:  Pulmicort, Injectable Vitamin B12, Herbs, Nutritional Supplements, Essential Oils, Homeopathy.


rootsmith
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 598
   Posted 10/24/2007 6:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Amy's pizza that is both gluten free and dairy free isn't available everywhere. We have a Wild Oats here and they only had the gluten free versions or the dairy free, but not both. Whole Foods carries the pizza that is both, at least around here. It also has spinach on it. Its a good substitute.

I also did complete avoidance. I figured if I was going to do it, might as well do it right and see how it works. I am also sensitive to egg protein and corn syrup and even eliminating these 4 foods I have plenty to eat. I also lost weight and that continues to be an issue.
10 years, many tests, 3 gi doctors, Pentasa 1000mg 3x day
diovan, simvastatin and now trying good ol' zoloft

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