Gluten Free Diet & Dietary Recommendations
Gluten Free Diet
I believe that eating Gluten Free (GF) is a must for every American who wants to achieve their best health—for your brain, your immune system, to fight off disease, inflammation, and cancer, energy and nutrition!
This is even more important if you are fighting any chronic disease or wish to prevent them and especially Lyme Borreliosis Complex. Board Certified infectious disease doctor and Lyme Specialist Dr. Jemsek recommends all of his patients avoid gluten because it is so inflammatory.
Since the 1970s, grains, and especially wheat, have been genetically modified and sprayed with toxins to get the best yield despite many health risks (Europe outlaws most of these…). The resultant wheat is toxic to our GI cells, lining and intestines, allowing toxins to enter our body and harm us in multiple ways, including suppressing our immune system (70% of which is in our gut).
If you have not been diagnosed with celiac disease, you could occasionally have organic, GMO free wheat and barley.
Gluten Hides in Many Foods
Gluten is the protein part of wheat, rye and barley and other related grains. Removing Gluten from the diet is not easy, but it is doable! Grains are used in the preparation of many foods. It is often hard to tell by an ingredient’s name what may be in it, so it is easy to eat gluten without even knowing it. However, staying on a strict GF diet can dramatically improve patient’s health.
Oats are a grain that we should also mention—Oats are believed safe for most patients, but often are contaminated during the manufacturing process. You can find oats that are free of cross-contamination, just read the labels!
Read Food Labels Carefully
- Do not eat anything that contains the following: wheat, rye, barley
- The following do NOT contain gluten in any amount: corn, potato, rice, soybeans, tapioca, arrowroot, carob, buckwheat, millet, amaranth and quinoa
- Distilled white vinegar does NOT contain gluten
- Malt Vinegar does contain gluten
Grains are used in the processing of many ingredients, so it will be necessary to seek our hidden gluten. The following terms found in food labels may mean that there is gluten in the product:
- Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP), unless made from soy or corn
- Flour or Cereal products, unless made with pure rice flour, corn flour, potato flour, or soy flour
- Vegetable Protein unless made from soy or corn
- Modified Starch or Modified Food Starch unless arrowroot, corn, potato, tapioca, waxy maize, or maize is used
- Vegetable Gum unless vegetable gums are carob bean gum, locust bean gum, cellulose gum, guar, gum, gum aracia, gum tragacanth, xantham gum, or vegetable starch
- Soy Sauce or Soy Sauce Solids unless you know they do not contain wheat
Dr. Lisa’s Gluten Free Tips
(Available at any health food store or on Amazon.com!)
Any of the following words on food labels usually means that a grain containing gluten has been used:
Stabilizer, Starch, Flavoring, Emulsifier, Hydrolyzed, Plant protein
In the great article: The Troublesome Twenty – Hidden Gluten Ingredients – Amy Myers MD shares 20 ingredients that can also have hidden gluten. Pay attention to this if you have celiac disease!
- Artificial color
- Baking powder
- Caramel color/flavoring
- Citric acid (can be fermented from wheat, corn, molasses or beets)
- Fat replacers
- Food starch
- Glucose syrup
- Modified food starch
- Natural juices
- Wheat starch
Do NOT Contain Gluten
May Contain Gluten
|Milk & Milk Products||Whole, low fat, skim, dry, evaporated, or condensed milk; buttermilk, cream; whipping cream; Velveeta cheese food; American cheese; all aged cheeses, such as Cheddar, Swiss, Edam, and Parmesan||Sour cream; commercial chocolate milk and drinks, non-dairy creamers, all other cheese products, yogurt||Malted drink|
|Meat or meat substitutes||100% meat (no grain additives); seafood; poultry (breaded with pure cornmeal, potato flour, or rice flour); peanut butter; eggs; dried beans or peas; pork||Meat patties; canned meat; sausages; cold cuts; bologna; hot dogs; stew; hamburger; chili; commercial omelets; soufflés; fondue; soy protein meat substitutes||Croquettes, breaded fish, chicken loaves made with bread or bread crumbs, breaded or floured meats, meatloaf, meatballs, pizza, ravioli, any meat or meat substitute, rye, barley, oats, gluten stabilizers|
|Breads & Grains||Cream of rice; cornmeal; hominy; rice; wild rice; GF noodles; rice wafers; pure corn tortillas; specially prepared breads made with corn, rice, potato, soybean, tapioca, arrowroot, carob, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, and quinoa flour||Packaged rice mixes, cornbread, ready-to-eat cereals containing malt flavors||Breads, buns, rolls, biscuits, muffins, crackers, and cereals containing wheat germ, oats, barley, rye, bran, graham flour, malt, kasha; bulgur; Melba toast; matzo; bread crumbs; pastry; pizza dough; regular noodles, spaghetti, macaroni, and other pasta; rusks; dumplings; zwieback; pretzels; prepared mixes for waffles and pancakes, bread stuffing or filling|
|Fats & Oils||Butter, margarine, vegetable oil, shortening, lard||Salad dressings, non-dairy creamers, mayonnaise||Gravy and cream sauces thickened with flour|
|Fruits||Plain, fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruit; all fruit juices||Pie fillings, thickened or prepared with fruit; fruit fillings||None|
|Vegetables||Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables; white and sweet potatoes; yams||Vegetables with sauces, commercially prepared vegetables and salads, canned baked beans, pickles, marinated vegetables, commercially seasoned vegetables|
|Snacks & Desserts||Brown and white sugar, rennet, fruit whips, gelatin, jelly, jam, honey, molasses, pure cocoa, fruit ice, carob||Custards, puddings, ice cream, ices, sherbet, pie fillings, candies, chocolate, chewing gum, cocoa, potato chip, popcorn||Cakes, cookies, doughnuts, pastries, dumplings, ice cream cones, pies, prepared cake and cookie mixes, pretzels, bread pudding|
|Beverages||Tea, carbonated beverages (except root beer), fruit juices, mineral and carbonated waters, wines, instant or ground coffee||Cocoa mixes, root beer, chocolate drinks, nutritional supplements, beverage mixes||Postum™, Ovaltine™, malt-containing drinks, cocomalt, beer, ale|
|Soups||Those made with allowed ingredients||Commercially prepared soups, broths, soup mixes, bouillon cubes||Soups thickened with wheat flour or gluten containing grains; soup containing barley, pasta or noodles|
|Thickening Agents||Gelatin, arrowroot, starch, corn flour, germ, or bran; potato flour; potato starch flour; rice bran and flour; rice polish; soy flour; tapioca, sago||Wheat starch; all flours containing wheat, oats, rye, malt, barley or graham flour; white flour; wheat flour; bran; cracker meal; durham floud; wheat germ|
|Condiments||GF soy sauce, distilled white vinegar, olives, pickles, relish, ketchup||Flavoring syrups (for pancakes or ice cream), mayonnaise, horseradish, salad dressings, tomato sauces, meat sauce, mustard, taco sauce, soy sauce, chip dips|
|Seasonings||Salt, pepper, herbs, favored extracts, food coloring, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, monosodium glutamate||Curry powder, seasoning mixes, meat extracts||Synthetic pepper, brewer’s yeast (unless prepared with a sugar molasses base), yeast extract (contains barley)|
|Prescription products||All medicines: check with pharmacist or pharmaceutical company|
Table adapted from Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology: http://www.gicare.com/diets/gluten-free.aspx
Excell for Life Dietary Recommendations
A diet that supports the immune system includes foods that provide the necessary raw ingredients form the three main food groups of protein, carbohydrates, and fats/oils. You want these foods to be a nature intended—with minimal alteration or processing! The best way to eat healthy is to be aware of the ingredients in your food and buy fresh or local groceries. Aim to cook at home using fresh or minimally processed foods and limit eating out at restaurants, especially fast food.
Proteins are incorporated into every cell in our bodies. They are instrumental for cell growth and repair and make up a large part of the immune system. If you are lacking in proteins, your immune system will be impaired. Provided that you can tolerate these substances, protein intake can include whey (dairy), eggs, fish, chicken, and meat, and to a lesser extent legumes (soy) and some cheeses. Depending on your physical build and activity level, aim for 0.4 grams of protein per pound per day; for example, a 120 lb adult would require about 50 grams of protein daily and a 180 pound adult would require 70 grams per day (please note, growing adolescents may require higher amounts).
Carbohydrates originate from plants and are known to be the body’s main source of fuel. There are two different types of carbohydrates—unrefined (complex) and refined (simple). Unrefined carbohydrates are high in fiber and the preferred type of carbs—they include: whole grains, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables. Refined carbohydrates are highly processed, “high glycemic carbs” including: sodas, alcohol, many fruit drinks, cereals, bagels, donuts, pastries, pancakes, waffles and sweets. Highly refined carbohydrates may also contribute to candida (yeast) overgrowth—particularly in patients taking antibiotics. Poor choices in the carbohydrates you eat and their associated chaotic blood sugar levels may compromise your immune system by promoting inflammation.
The last main food group, and secondary source of fuel for our bodies is fats and oils. There are two types of fats—the good fats are essential for one’s health, while the bad fats are detrimental to one’s health. Fats are incorporated into every cell membrane in our body and the quality of fat thereby influences the functioning of every cell. Health fats include: extra virgin olive oil, avocado, small amounts of organic butter, coconut oil, as well as raw or plain-roasted nuts and seeds.
The healthiest oils are from the Omega-3 family and are best obtained by eating cold water fish (such as shrimp, salmon, sardine, and mackerel). Plant sources for omega-3 oils are not as bio available as fish sources, but include flax seeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and hemp seeds. Omega-3 oils are anti-inflammatory, immune-supportive, and can help with memory and nervous system function.
The fats that should be avoided include partially hydrogenated oils that are often found in foods ordered at restaurants and fast food vendors. These oils are also found in many snack foods and in vegetable oils like cottonseed, shortening, and margarine. We suggest patients limit oils such as safflower, corn and even canola. These oils are often found in commercial foods and tend to cause inflammation in the body.