ABOUT GLUTEN FREE EATING
There are many misconceptions about having to eat gluten free these days. Many claim that eating gluten free is healthier for everyone and that it helps you to lose weight. This is a nice thought, however it doesn’t work that way. Eating gluten free is only healthier for those who have coeliacs disease or are very sensitive to gluten. In many other cases it’s not healthier at all.
Let’s get technical! The reason why I eat gluten free is because I have coeliacs disease, an autoimmune disease which causes inflammatory reactions in the small intestine every time a person eats gluten. This causes the intestinal villi, which are in the small intestine and take care of the food intake, to break down. Without these villi, the intestines are no longer abel to absorb nutrients from the food, which in the end cause nutritional deficiency and in some cases anaemia, depression and osteoporosis.
WHAT ARE GLUTEN?
In order to get better a person with coeliacs needs to eat gluten free. Gluten can be found in grains like wheat, rye, barley, spelt or kamut and their derivatives. To make it easier for you: anything containing flour is usually made of wheat. For instance pizza, pasta, pies, cookies and of course bread. Extra caution is needed when buying pre-made food such as soups, ointments, spreads and herbs. Sometimes manufacturers use wheat starch as a binding agent in these kind of products, so always read the ingredient list!
WHAT CAN I EAT AND WHAT NOT?
So everything containing grains is out of bounds, however sometimes manufacturers use another type of starch or flour, such as corn, buckwheat or almond. If this is the only flour used in a product, you are good to go! To make it all more manageable I provided you with a list of what is allowed and what is not allowed from the Dutch coeliacs union. Source
• (Modified) Wheat starch
And any product containing grains like:
• Flour and flour from these grains
• (modified) Starch from above-mentioned grains (e.g. wheat starch)
• Pasta in any shape or form, such as macaroni, vermicelli, spaghetti, lasagne
• Cakes and pastries
• Sauces and soups (thickened with flour or a roux of the above-mentioned grains)
• Snacks (meat croquettes, hot dogs, nasi snacks)
• (Modified) Starch
• Maize semolina (polenta)
• Potato and potato flour
• Pulses and legumes
• Rice waffles
• Fish and Meat (not breadcrumbed or coated with flour)