Gluten-free dieters may still enjoy their meals.
Such a diet is completely free of ingredients derived from gluten-containing cereals including wheat, spelt, barley, rye, and triticale, as well as gluten food additives whether used as a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent. This diet may also exclude oats whose effects on gluten-sensitive people still remain somewhat unknown.
While gluten is commonly associated with wheat, not all wheat products contain gluten. For example, highly processed wheat glucose contains no detectable gluten (i.e. less than 5 parts per million gluten). Grain and starch sources that are acceptable in a gluten-free diet include maize, potatoes, rice, tapioca, millet, and sweet potatoes. Bean, soybean, and nut flours are sometimes used in gluten-free products to add protein and dietary fiber. Gluten is also used in foods in some unexpected ways, for example as a stabilizing agent or thickener in products such as ice cream and ketchup. Other products that perhaps surprisingly may include gluten are both over-the-counter and prescription medications and vitamins, and cosmetics.
Gluten sufferers canít merely check the label for product ingredients; gluten may be found in vegetable proteins and starch, modified food starch (derived from wheat instead of maize), malt flavoring, and glucose syrup. Highly allergic people may have a problem with the gluten used in product preparation for example the powder dusted on a conveyor belt to keep food from sticking during processing. Other sources of cross contamination include grains that shared a truck, bagging facility, or mill with gluten-containing grains. Many people allergic to gluten find it is best to remove all flour and grain from their diet to ensure their protection.
How much gluten is too much? Some experts say that the maximum safe level of gluten for celiacs is 0.02% (200 parts per million); others talk about 0.002% (20 parts per million). Wheat flour contains about 12% gluten, in other words, 120,000 parts per million. A little wheat flour can cause a lot of problems. In fact, many products labeled gluten free have unacceptable levels.
Lots of delicious, nutritious recipes in a Gluten-Free cookbook.
Regularly prepared medications and vitamin supplements may use gluten as a binding agent. When it comes to alcohol itís important to be familiar with the specific production process. Bourbon is gluten-free whereas most whiskey is not. Cider, port, rum, sherry, tequila, vermouth, and most importantly wine do not contain gluten. Liqueurs may contain gluten. Almost all beers do.