What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in some grains and legumes associated with some forms of allergy (itch, hives, swelling, headaches, migraines and joint pain) reaction causing protein found in grains such as:

  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Bran
  • Bulgur
  • Couscous
  • Durum
  • Graham
  • Orzo
  • Panko
  • Spelt
  • Udon
  • Semolina
  • And possible oats.

A person who suffers with a gluten sensitivity or intolerance would develop an inflammatory response which may damages the intestinal lining of the gut leading to many symptoms of malabsorption, diarrhea, constipation, bloating and/or fatigue.

Where else is gluten found?

  • Although usually found in grains, gluten is also used as a “filler” in many processed foods, seasonings and flavorings.
  • Gluten is also found in:
    • ales, beer, brown rice syrup, candies, deli meats, broth, sauces, imitation meats, marinades, lipsticks and balms.
  • Malt, a popular substance used in candies and beverages, also contains gluten. Caramel coloring and caramel also contain gluten.
  • Wheat flour (glutinous) is found in many things from soy sauce and soups to condiments such as mustard, so reading labels is very important.

What are gluten-free foods?

The following types of flours are gluten-free:

  • amaranth
  • arrowroot
  • buckwheat
  • corn bran
  • corn flour
  • corn meal
  • cornstarch
  • flax
  • legumes (bean, chickpea, lentil and pea)
  • millet
  • potatoes
  • quinoa
  • rice bran
  • soy

Organic versions of soy sauce and soups (easily found in the grocery store) are usually gluten free (read the labels!).

Where to find gluten-free products?

Since gluten sensitivity is becoming more common, it is much easier to find gluten-free products.

Yes, health food stores have the best variety in products, but they can be little more expensive.

  • Gluten-free options can be found in the health food aisle or in the frozen food section (as many of the products are frozen) of any supermarket.
  • Bob red mill products, which are every type of gluten free flour and baked good mixes, can be found in the baked good aisle (which all the flour and sugar) of every supermarket.
  • The bulk barn also sells gluten free flours, baked good mixes, pancake mixes and even powered soup mixes.

 Websites for gluten-free recipes:

  1. http://glutenfreegirl.com/
  2. http://www.glutino.com/
  3. (also advocates their brand of gluten free products)
  4. http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/healthy-recipes/gluten-free/main.aspx
  5. http://www.lesleycooks.com/glutenfree/glutenfree.htm
  6. http://www.glutenfreeda.com/index.asp
  7. http://glutenfreenetwork.com/
  8. For information on which restaurants provide gluten-free options:
  9. http://www.theceliacscene.com/North_American_Chains.html
  10. http://www.glutenfreeontario.ca