You’ve recently heard that you can not tolerate gluten. And now? Eating a varied diet on a gluten-free diet can sometimes be difficult. Especially if you have no experience with it yet. For what does gluten actually contain? What must and must not you eat? Anyone with celiac disease or gluten intolerance wonders about this when starting with gluten free food. You have a lot on the way. We help you along the way.
What is gluten?
First of all, it is helpful to know what gluten exactly is. That way, you know better what foods to avoid. Gluten is a protein found in a variety of grains: wheat, oats, spelled, barley, rye and kamut. It also occurs in gluten-containing products, such as bread, pasta, sweets, biscuits, beer and cookies. Gluten is also often used as a binder in chips, soup, sauce and meat, you will find it on the packaging. So many products contain gluten. Can you never eat these products again? In short: no, you can not. At least not the varieties of these products that contain gluten. Fortunately, there are now plenty of alternatives, such as gluten-free bread and pasta, gluten-free cakes and cookies. There are new products on the market every week that you can eat as usual.
Healthy diet with celiac disease
Gluten is harmful for people with celiac disease, as well as for those diagnosed with gluten sensitivity. It is extremely important for them to follow a gluten free diet. Do you have celiac disease? Then gluten causes an inflammation of the mucous membrane, which is located in the small intestine. This causes the intestinal villi to break down, resulting in unpleasant symptoms. In the long run, the villi and small intestine can become so damaged that your body has trouble absorbing all the nutrients. Resulting in various health problems. If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you should avoid products that contain gluten. For even a small amount of gluten can cause complaints, even if it is a stray bread crumb. When avoiding gluten, it is not just the diet that matters. Also, try to avoid gluten-containing products coming in contact with gluten-free products. Think also of kitchen utensils. A cutting board or a rolling pin also contains gluten when used for gluten-containing products. Then buy new kitchen equipment for gluten-free products.
There are lots of gluten free products that you can eat without any hassle. Read all the labels on the products you want to use. If one of the following ingredients is on the label, it contains gluten and you should not eat it:
oatmeal, oatmeal, oat flakes, oats, bulgur, couscous, cruesli, pasta, durum, barley, barley malt, barley malt flour, barley, semolina, groats, noodles, malt, malt extract, muesli, breadcrumbs, pearl barley, rye, rye flour, rye flour, seitan, macaroni, spaghetti, spelled, wheat, wheat flour, wheat flour, wheat malt, triticale, vermicelli, bran.
What can you eat? These are the following products.
Fruit and vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free and can therefore be eaten normally. Beware of dried fruit, sometimes flour is used as an anti-adhesive and then it is not gluten free. And always look at the label when buying canned vegetables or fruits to prevent gluten from being secretly incorporated into it.
Gluten-free bread, cereals and potatoes
Brown rice, millet, teff, quinoa, buckwheat and potatoes are naturally gluten-free and can therefore be eaten normally. You may only use oats if it is explicitly stated ‘gluten-free’ on the package. Gluten-free bread, gluten-free wholemeal biscuits and gluten-free wholemeal pasta are also available.
Fish, legumes, eggs, nuts, meat and dairy products
Unprocessed fish, legumes, eggs, unsalted nuts, tofu, tempeh and meat are naturally gluten-free and can therefore be eaten normally. Please note that these products may still contain gluten due to breading and marinating with spice blends. It is also important to check the gluten label for legumes from cans or jars. Milk, yoghurt, quark and Dutch cheese from cow, goat or sheep’s milk are gluten-free and can therefore be eaten as usual. Dairy products with additives, such as cream cheese, vanilla cream and fruit pulp, may contain gluten.
Spread and cooking fat
Oil, butter and most low-fat margarines and margarines are gluten-free and can therefore be used.
Water, tea and coffee are gluten free and you can drink as usual. Be careful with herbal tea blends, these can sometimes contain gluten due to the barley malt ingredient.