Pam Cureton: Hi! I am Pam Cureton, registered Dietitian at the University of Maryland, Center for Celiac Research.
Today, in Partnership with General Mills, we are talking about how to eat gluten-free healthfully and how to choose gluten-free foods.
Before you begin a gluten-free diet, be sure you've had all the proper testing for celiac disease.
The first step is to know where to look for gluten in your diet. Grains containing gluten include wheat, rye, barley and their derivatives. These grains are used in such items as breads, cereals, pasta, pizza, pies and cookies. But these grains are also used in less obvious foods such as lickers or other candies, soup bases, Soya sauce, marinade, and other sauces. Even over-the-counter and prescription medications may contain gluten.
Caution needs to be taken so that these grains do not become a problem when they will come in contact with foods that are gluten-free. For example, a hamburger patties come in contact with a bun is contaminated with enough gluten to cause problems.
Croutons from a salad make the salad unsafe for someone with celiac disease. Most people with celiac disease can tolerate 10 milligrams of gluten per day or the equivalent of only an ace of a teaspoon of flour.
Whether or not it's okay for people avoiding gluten to eat oat is a common question. Studies have shown that most people with celiac disease can tolerate oats. However, oats can be contaminated with gluten containing grains, so only special gluten-free oats should be used.
The good news is that there are many wonderful and safe gluten-free choices and alternatives to eat, barley and rye. Some of the grains include amaranth, buckwheat, corn, rice, quinoa and teff.
There are also bountiful foods that are naturally gluten-free, and they are important to the overall healthy diet.
You can enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables and most cans and frozen ones too; meat, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, legumes, Dairy item such as milk, cheese and most yoghurts; grains like rice, corn, and quinoa; condiments, such as vinegar, with the exception of mouth vinegar, ketchup, mustard, spices and herbs.
Most importantly you don't need to give up all your favorite foods. There are growing number delicious gluten-free products on the market today.