The traditional gluten-free diet is the most commonly consumed. Unfortunately, this diet is merely switching gluten-containing packaged, processed products for gluten-free packaged processed foods which are still unhealthy. Many over-the-counter packaged foods contain cross-contamination of gluten. Also, many “gluten-free” products contain other types of grain-based glutens that have not been adequately studied to be safe for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. These include corn or maize, rice, spelt, millet, triticale, buckwheat, amaranth, teff, sorghum, and quinoa. Generally, their seeds are sprayed with fungicides and insecticides which are xenoestrogens that affect hormone balance and are linked to contributing to many diseases.
A study published in the Journal of American Dietary Association (June 2010) found “gluten contamination of inherently gluten-free grains, seeds, and flours. 32% of the tested samples contained mean gluten levels >/= 20 ppm which is not considered gluten-free under the FDA rule for gluten-free labeling”.
Look for 3rd Party Certified Gluten-Free Labels:
These 4 labels indicate that the product was independently tested & meet the criteria for <20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten & thus considered GLUTEN FREE. Any other gluten-free label means that the product has NOT been independently tested, and it is up to the manufacturer to regulate itself.
Most processed “gluten-free” products contain genetically modified grains, high amounts of sugar, and are devoid of any significant nutrient density. A study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology (February 2010), found “That more than 30% of patients with celiac disease following a gluten-free diet fail to exhibit recovery of intestinal damage after 5 years on a gluten-free diet”. This proves that even gluten-free processed packaged foods are unhealthy and don’t supply the nutrients, enzymes, amino acids or other building blocks to heal a leaky gut and/or damage to the small intestine.
A TRUE gluten-free diet consists of whole, organic non-processed, or packaged foods. These foods are as close to nature as possible and do not include multiple non-descript ingredients, fillers, or preservatives. These foods should become the core of a long-term sustainable nutrition plan and include the following:
- Liberal use and diversity of vegetables - we're shooting for multiple servings of multiple colors daily
- Regular use of high-quality fats (olive oil, avocado oil, and avocado, coconut oil, ghee, wild-caught fatty fish, )
- Fruits of various colors (especially those with a high skin to pulp ratio like berries) - especially beneficial to combine with fat or protein
- High-quality protein sources (wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, organic pasture-raised poultry and eggs, wild game like venison, buffalo, fermented organic soy and legumes, as well as other organic plant proteins as tolerated) - again, ideally some protein at every meal or snack
- Liberal use of all types of different organic herbs and spices
- 70-100 ounces of water or herbal tea daily between meals (and sometimes more if heavily exercising)
Overall, this type of eating for a TRUE gluten-free diet serves as the cornerstone for healthy lifelong nutrition. And it focuses on 3 main categories every time you eat, even if it’s just a small snack:
- Multiple servings of different colors from organic plants, especially vegetables
- Liberal use of high-quality fats
- Quality protein
Grains That Are Classically Considered to Be Gluten-Free
The following is a list of grains that are commonly used as gluten-free substitutes. Although these grains are considered gluten-free by food labeling law standards, they all contain different forms of gluten and have been shown to contribute to persistent health issues for those with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.
- Corn – Contains a type of gluten protein called zein. Numerous studies have shown that people with gluten sensitivity have trouble healing combined with persistent disease as long as they continue to consume corn-based products.
- Rice – Contains a type of gluten protein called orzenin. Rice contains proteins that have been linked to FPIES (Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis) – AKA inflammation of the colon. Rice has also been shown to be high in several heavy metals, also detrimental to health.
- Oats – Contain a type of gluten called avenin. A number of studies have shown that oats are often times cross contaminated with wheat gluten during harvest and processing. Additionally, studies have also shown that the actual gluten in oats can create an inflammatory reaction in people with gluten sensitivity.
- Millet – Contains a type of gluten protein called panicin.
- Sorghum – Contains a type of gluten protein called kafirin.
- Pseudo GrainsPseudo grains are commonly confused for grains, but they are technically not grains at all. There are three types of pseudo grain, quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth.
- Quinoa – Studies show that quinoa proteins can actually mimic gluten and create inflammation for those with gluten issues.
- Buckwheat – a number of studies show that buckwheat production has issues with gluten cross contamination
- Amaranth – like buckwheat, amaranth cross contamination of gluten can be a major health risk for those with gluten sensitivity.
Can Dairy Mimic Gluten?
Some research shows that the protein, casein, in dairy can actually mimic gluten, and create and inflammatory response. One recent study found that as many as 50% of those with celiac disease reacted to dairy casein proteins. Another issue with dairy has to do with the way that it is processed. Many dairy products are exposed to an enzyme called microbial transglutaminase (I know, that is a mouthful!) Let’s just call it meat glue. When dairy is treated with meat glue, studies show that those with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease have inflammatory reactions against it. You can go here for a more in depth review of the problems with dairy while trying to follow a gluten free diet.
Top 5 Mistakes Made When Going Gluten Free
- Mistake #1 – Eating Corn – the gluten found in corn can cause inflammation, and research proves it. Corn byproducts have also been shown to contain mercury.
- Mistake #2 – Eating Rice – This grain can cause inflammation of the colon (enterocolitis). It also contains high levels of the toxic metals’ cadmium, arsenic, and lead. Processed rice contributes to blood sugar issues leading to weight gain and problems like diabetes.
- Mistake #3 – Eating Oats – Despite popular belief, oats (even those not cross contaminated with wheat) can cause inflammation in gluten sensitive individuals. Many popular oat containing products have also been shown to contain the poison glyphosate.
- Mistake #4 – Eating GMO products or non-organic products containing glyphosate – Glyphosate is poison.
- Mistake #5 – Eating processed gluten free foods containing meat glue. Major new research has identified this substance as a celiac trigger.