Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat (wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in many types of foods, even ones that would not be expected.
Typically associated with Celiac Disease, the gluten-free diet has quickly gained popularity. Cutting out gluten from your diet may seem like a difficult and limiting task. Fortunately, there are many healthy and delicious foods that are naturally gluten-free! There are many naturally gluten-free grains that you can enjoy in a variety of creative ways. Many of these grains can be found in your local grocery store, but some of the lesser-known grains may only be found in specialty or health food stores. It is not recommended to purchase grains from bulk bins because of the possibility for cross-contact with gluten.
The following grains and other starch-containing foods are naturally gluten-free:
- Corn (maize)
- Buckwheat groats (also known as kasha)
- Gluten-free oats
- Nut flours
When sticking to a gluten free diet, you may notice or be missing out on a few important nutrients your body may need. People recently diagnosed with celiac disease are commonly deficient in fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, folate, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, as well as in calories and protein. Deficiencies in copper and vitamin B6 are also possible, but less common.
Chances are that if you do not have Celiac Disease, you may just be interested in the gluten free diet for health reasons. People try gluten-free diets in response to feeling tired, bloated or depressed, and find reducing gluten correlates with feeling better or losing weight. But that outcome is more likely because they’ve cut out the excess calories found in many flour-based snack foods.
ICON Meals uses gluten free noodles as a lower caloric alternative and product friendly to those that may suffer from a gluten tolerance or Celiac Disease. In conclusion, if you plan on moving to a Gluten Free diet, you should plan to supplement some of your basic micronutrients as well.