Gluten-free diet - allowed and prohibited products
Grains are forbidden in the gluten-free diet: wheat (including spelled, emmer, einkorn), barley, rye and plain uncertified oats * and all products with their addition. Naturally gluten-free are: corn, rice, potatoes, soybeans, millet, buckwheat, tapioca, amaranth, cassava, legumes, sorghum, nuts, meat, eggs, fruit and vegetables. Processed products in which the gluten content does not exceed 20 ppm (20 mg per kg) are also considered gluten-free. They can be described in words as gluten-free and contain the internationally licensed Crossed Grain Mark or other symbol invented by the manufacturer meaning gluten-free.
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 828/2014 on the provision of information to consumers on the absence or reduced presence of gluten in food. The problem when choosing is those products that may contain gluten, although we do not expect it. People with celiac disease should not choose products that contain warnings about possible gluten content. This means that contamination with this protein may have occurred in the production process. It should be remembered that if the manufacturer uses a gluten-containing raw material, he must provide such information on the label of the finished product. However, if he does not knowingly use it, and there is a possibility of secondary gluten contamination, the placement of such a warning is voluntary (Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011).
Therefore, warning about the possible content of gluten in such a situation is not obligatory, but only good manufacturing practice. On the other hand, our experience shows that more and more manufacturers have implemented quality systems (eg IFS or BRC), which oblige them to pay special attention to providing the composition of products on the label, especially in the context of allergens.
Gluten-free diet: rules and products forbidden and allowed
A gluten-free diet is not easy to follow. You need to remove from the menu not only the obvious products containing gluten, but also be careful about those in which gluten is hidden. Which products are allowed and which are prohibited in a gluten-free diet? What products may contain gluten?
A gluten-free diet is a diet that completely eliminates the gluten in both natural and processed products. Gluten is a mixture of the proteins glutelin and gliadin found in wheat, rye and barley.
On the other hand, oats contain a slightly different protein - avenin, which probably does not cause the same reactions as the proteins of gluten cereals.
However, oats are very often contaminated with gluten, so people who are sick can only eat certified, labeled gluten-free.
Gluten-free diet - indications
A gluten-free diet should be used in the case of:
1. celiac disease
Celiac disease, called celiac disease, is an autoimmune disease with a genetic basis in which gluten causes the greatest harm to the body. Its consumption leads to the atrophy of the intestinal villi and the malabsorption of nutrients from food, which results in many different health problems.
The symptoms of celiac disease can vary in form and severity. They include, among others abdominal pain, nutritional deficiencies, short stature, canker sores, change of temperament, depression, constant fatigue. The only treatment option is to follow a strict gluten-free diet throughout your life.
Celiac disease is not just a disease of young children. It may also appear only in adulthood. At least 1% of the population suffers from celiac disease, and according to studies, the incidence is still increasing. One possible reason for this is an increase in gluten consumption as a result of changing eating habits and the use of high-gluten wheat varieties in baking.
2. Duhring's disease - cutaneous form of celiac disease
In Duhring's disease, highly itchy skin lesions appear most often on the elbows, knees, buttocks and around the sacrum: erythema, papules and vesicles. The basic treatment is a strict gluten-free diet and restriction of iodine intake.
3.gluten allergy (most often wheat)
Gluten allergy is a completely different disease entity than celiac disease. Gluten is a very common allergen - the second most common after milk.
Allergy sufferers may have an immediate reaction (a few minutes to an hour) or a delayed reaction (up to 1-2 days) after consuming gluten. In adults, gluten allergy is most often manifested by urticaria, watery runny nose, diarrhea, and in children - exacerbation of atopic skin lesions.
For treatment, eliminate gluten from your diet. However, there is no need to follow a strict gluten-free diet throughout your life.
4. non-celiac gluten sensitivity
For several years, the scientific community has been talking about a newly discovered form of gluten intolerance - non-celiac hypersensitivity to gluten.
In people suffering from it, celiac disease and gluten allergy have been ruled out, but consumption of gluten-containing products causes symptoms, e.g. abdominal pain, rash, headache, constant fatigue, confusion, diarrhea, constipation, flatulence, anemia. According to American studies, this disease affects 6% of the population.
With gluten intolerance, there is no need to eliminate it from the diet for life. After an exclusion period, which usually lasts from 3 to 12 months, depending on the severity of the reaction, gluten is reintroduced into the diet and the body's response is observed.
Having no symptoms means that you can eat gluten, and if you get symptoms, you should continue to follow a gluten-free diet.
5.neuropsychiatric diseases (schizophrenia, autism)
6.autoimmune diseases (Hashimoto's, rheumatoid arthritis)
More and more studies link neuropsychiatric and autoimmune diseases to gluten consumption. In the case of this type of disease, the accompanying irritable bowel syndrome is often diagnosed. It turns out, however, that not the next drugs, but the elimination of gluten have a positive effect on the improvement of the patient's condition.
Gluten-free diet - how to start?
The gluten-free diet should not be turned on by itself, without consulting a doctor and performing tests. First, you need to do some diagnostics to determine if gluten is causing the problem, and if so, what type of disease is causing it.
Celiac disease and gluten intolerance are a common problem, as they affect as many as 6 out of 100 people. They are usually mildly symptomatic, with no malabsorption syndrome.
Therefore, it is easy to ignore these diseases. At the same time, many people are switching to a gluten-free diet because they consider it healthier.
It is important to remember that gluten must not be withdrawn when tested for diseases related to it. Then their detection becomes impossible.
What steps should you take before following a gluten-free diet?
- Visit your GP who will refer you to a gastroenterologist
- See a gastroenterologist
- Perform blood tests prescribed by your doctor: antibodies against smooth muscle endomysium (EmA), against tissue transglutaminase (tTG), against deamidated gliadin (the so-called new gliadin DGP or GAF) in the IgA and IgG class.
- Perform a small intestine biopsy if necessary.
- If the above tests allow for the exclusion of celiac disease, diagnostics for gluten allergy (elevated antibodies specific for gluten in the IgE class) should be performed.
- If celiac disease and allergy have been ruled out, the level of antibodies against the so-called old AGA gliadin and apply an elimination diet, then reintroduce gluten. Relief of symptoms during elimination and their recurrence after the introduction of gluten foods indicates allergy or hypersensitivity.
Before following a gluten-free diet, you need to be sure if you have celiac disease. Therefore, gluten cannot be eliminated from the diet until disease is confirmed or ruled out.
If celiac disease is ruled out, the procedure for diagnosing allergies and non-celiac gluten sensitivity is similar. Then the key importance is the elimination of gluten in time and its reintroduction into the diet with careful observation of symptoms.
Gluten-free diet - rules
In its basic assumptions, a gluten-free diet does not differ from the principles of healthy eating. The only difference is the complete elimination of gluten in people with celiac disease, allergies or gluten sensitivity.
The basis of the menu should be fresh, high-quality products eaten in 4-5 meals a day. Meals should be eaten regularly every 3 hours, breakfast should be eaten up to an hour after waking up, and dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime.
It should be based on vegetables, and the diet should be supplemented with fruit, gluten-free groats, fresh meat, fish and eggs. It's best to prepare gluten-free bread substitutes and desserts yourself.
It is definitely the wrong approach to eat gluten-free ready-made products in large quantities, as these are highly processed foods, often very low in valuable nutrients.
When buying processed products, be sure to look for the crossed ear symbol on them, which indicates that it is gluten-free and can contain no more than 20 mg per kg.
It is a very small amount, safe even for people with celiac disease. This applies not only to cereal products, but also cold cuts, sausages, dairy products, chewing gums, ice cream, spices and many others.
In the production process, cereals can be added to basically anything, so it is worth reading carefully the table of products that may contain gluten.
If you are following a strict gluten-free diet, it is best if the whole family passes to it, not just the sick person.
From a logistical point of view, it is much easier, as a person with celiac disease cannot even use the same knife as regular bread or drain gluten-free and gluten-free pasta in the same strainer.
A gluten-free diet can be very varied and tasty, and its joint use in the family does not result in the exclusion of the sick person.
People with celiac disease and Duhring's disease must follow a strict gluten-free diet throughout their lives. Even the smallest amount of gluten harms them and they cannot deviate from the diet, eat "a piece of cake" or "slices of bread", which is often encouraged by people who do not understand the specificity of the disease.
In the case of allergies and gluten intolerance, the individual time of the gluten-free diet is determined, and then provocation is used, i.e. introducing larger amounts of gluten products to determine the possibility of incorporating gluten into the diet permanently.
Gluten-free diet - products indicated and prohibited
Naturally gluten-free foods include rice, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, sago, sorghum, tapioca, cassava, soybeans, lentils, chickpeas, beans, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, eggs, vegetables and fruit.
Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley and all their products. In theory, oats are gluten-free, but very often it becomes contaminated with gluten during harvesting, transport and processing.
Therefore, people on a strict gluten-free diet can only eat certified gluten-free oats.
Naturally gluten-free cereals:
- white and brown rice
- flours and groats made of naturally gluten-free cereals (e.g. millet, buckwheat)
- rice flakes
- corn, rice and tapioca starch
- ready-made gluten-free flour mixtures
- bread and pasta made of gluten-free flours, made by yourself and purchased, marked with the "crossed ear" sign,
- rice and corn porridges for children
- corn crisps
- gluten-free oats (with reservations)
- gluten free bread crumbs
Gluten-free diet - technological tips
- use rice or buckwheat noodles instead of regular noodles
- to thicken soups and sauces use Guar gum, rice, potato and corn flour
- use sesame, crushed almonds, corn flour for breading or omit the breading
- when baking cakes, use gluten-free baking powder
- do not fry gluten and gluten-free portions on the same fat
- use separate cutlery, dishes, kitchen utensils
- only use products that you can be 100% sure are gluten-free
Gluten-free diet - can it harm healthy people?
A gluten-free diet is very fashionable and many people choose it not for health reasons, but as a slimming diet.
It should be remembered that gluten alone does not increase body weight in healthy people, and an improperly conducted elimination diet, such as a gluten-free diet, can lead to deficiencies in fiber, folic acid, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and niacin.
There are also more and more voices that the complete elimination of gluten can lead to the development of non-celiac gluten hypersensitivity in people who have not had problems with it before.
Attention is also paid to the fact that a gluten-free diet is richer in rice products, which increases the exposure to heavy metals harmful to health.
For healthy people, it is beneficial to limit gluten intake in the form of white bread, donuts, and store cookies, which are generally unhealthy foods and are very common in the Western diet.
However, there is no need to completely eliminate gluten. It is enough to replace wheat bread with sourdough rye and use a variety of groats for dinner.
Gluten-free diet - menu
Scrambled eggs in butter with tomato and chives
- 2nd breakfast
Buttermilk, 2 peaches
Boiled buckwheat, a slice of roasted pork loin, grated beetroots
Rice cakes with peanut butter
Salad with lettuce, arugula, cherry tomatoes, peppers, boiled chicken breast with a spoon of roasted sunflower seeds and olive oil
Rice flakes boiled in milk with a teaspoon of honey, chia seeds, coconut flakes and raspberries
- 2nd breakfast
A handful of hazelnuts, a banana
Thai soup cooked on diced chicken breast with paprika, green beans, corn and a can of coconut milk without thickeners and other additives - only coconut extract and water
Cottage cheese with tomato
Sandwiches made of 2 slices of bread baked from a mixture of gluten-free flour, buttered, with gluten-free sausage and vegetables
Sandwiches made of 3 slices of bread baked from a mixture of gluten-free flour, buttered, with cheese and vegetables
- 2nd breakfast
Homemade cheesecake without a bottom made of minced white cheese with strawberries
Roasted chicken drumsticks, boiled potatoes, cucumber salad
A handful of almonds
Salad with lettuce, tomato, 1/2 avocado, tuna in its own sauce (check the ingredients!), Olive oil
Antihistamine diet. What to eat when you have a histamine problem?
The antihistamine diet is intended for people who have a diagnosed histamine intolerance or deficiency of the DAO enzyme. It allows you to improve the health and well-being of the patient and minimize the unpleasant symptoms associated with histamine intolerance such as: shortness of breath, urticaria, redness of the face. What is the antihistamine diet and what products should you avoid?
The antihistamine diet is used to relieve the body with diagnosed histamine intolerance. Thanks to it, you can avoid the unpleasant symptoms associated with this disorder. They appear as a result of increased consumption of histamine with a simultaneous failure (or lack) of the enzyme that breaks it down. The antihistamine diet is an elimination diet and consists in excluding products containing histamine.
What is Histamine?
Histamine is a biogenic amine, a tissue hormone that plays an important role in our body. It is important for stimulating the circulation, controlling heart rate and regulating blood pressure.
In addition, it is important for regulating immune function, metabolism and appetite control.
It plays the role of a neurotransmitter, because it is responsible for good sleep quality, hence disturbances in its secretion can lead to insomnia.
It acts as a signal because it informs the body about the threat and protects against the intrusion of pathogenic germs. It occurs in many places in our body, so when it is intolerant, we have such a variety of symptoms, e.g. skin, respiratory, circulatory.
Histamine intolerance - where does it come from?
Histamine is produced by the body's own cells or supplied externally along with food products. They produce and store it, among others:
- histaminergic neurons,
- or enterochromatophilic cells in the intestinal mucosa.
In addition, they produce it, but no longer store it:
- dendritic cells,
- or T-limocytes
When the need arises (e.g. we are bitten by an insect), these cells release histamine, which travels to specific tissues.
In addition to the internal production of histamine, the accumulation of this amine in the body may occur under the influence of external supply - from food products.
Histamine is produced from the amino acid histidine - a protein abundantly found in food such as:
However, vegans are not free from consuming this biogenic amine because it is found in:
- and any product that contains protein - even vegetable.
What does histamine intolerance depend on?
Whether or not we have a histamine intolerance depends on how efficiently our body breaks down histamine.
Even a healthy person who has no intolerance to it can react violently to histamine. It is enough for him to eat huge amounts of it, which his body cannot cope with at the moment, for the consequences to be dire. This was the case in 1973, when over 32 people in the United States got poisoned by eating canned tuna. Although no one died, many people were hospitalized because of it.
Most people are good at breaking down this biogenic amine on a daily basis because they have two enzymes that support it:
- intracellular HNMT (histamine N-methyltransferase)
- and extracellular - the enzyme DAO.
The problem arises when there are disturbances in the secretion of these enzymes, especially the external DAO enzyme. Then, insufficiently fast breakdown of histamine in the body can lead to poisoning.
What are the causes of DAO enzyme deficiency?
This may be the result of a congenital or acquired DAO deficiency. In the former case, there is not much that can be done.
Acquired DAO shortage may be a consequence of, for example:
- intestinal dysbiosis,
- parasite infections,
- inflammation of the mucosa,
- or ingestion of certain medications.
The antihistamine diet - what is it?
The antihistamine diet is to relieve the body when histamine intolerance is diagnosed.
The symptoms of this intolerance are not pleasant because they include:
- dry mouth
- increased thirst,
- itchy skin
They are also not safe for health - they include:
- swallowing problems
- blurred vision,
- a sudden drop in blood pressure.
The antihistamine diet avoids foods that contain a high amount of histamine and foods that lead to its sudden release from the cells.
In addition, it places emphasis on providing food with three important cofactors necessary for the proper activity of the DAO enzyme, i.e.
- vitamin C,
- vitamin B6
- and copper.
Antihistaminic diet - which products should be avoided?
Long-maturing or fermenting products contain the highest amounts of histamine. In addition, the increase in histamine in the product is influenced by smoking, drying and long-term storage. Therefore, people with histamine intolerance should avoid:
- blue cheeses,
- yellow cheeses,
- rennet cheeses,
- as well as long-maturing meats such as Parma ham
Very tricky about high levels of histamine are fish, especially those with dark meat, which are:
They contain a lot of histidine which is converted into histamine. The longer the time elapses after killing them, the more histamine increases. Other fish can also contain very large amounts of histamine, which are caused by various types of bacteria on their gills, skin and digestive tract.
If these fish are badly eviscerated or too late, active microbes can significantly increase the amount of histamine in the meat.
The higher concentration of this biogenic amine also depends on the way the product is stored and the temperature. The higher the temperature, the higher the histamine level will be. In turn, salting has an inhibitory effect (e.g. herrings that are heavily salted contain a small amount of histamine).
In addition to the fish mentioned above, people who have problems with the breakdown of histamine should avoid fermented products, such as:
- pickled cucumber,
- or wine.
The general rule is that it's best to eat fresh food, because the longer they stay (even in the refrigerator), the more histamine they contain.
In addition, it is worth avoiding products that can release histamine from cells, such as:
- black tea,
- green tea,
- yerba mate,
- citrus fruits,
In addition, it is necessary to avoid food additives such as:
- patent blue,
- indigo carmine,
- sorbic acid,
- choline yellow,