Gluten free Information

A gluten-free diet is a diet completely free of ingredients derived from gluten-containing cereals: wheat , barley, rye, and triticale, as well as the use of gluten as a food additive in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent. It is recommended amongst other things in the treatment of coeliac disease, non-coeliac gluten intolerance, dermatitis herpetiformis, migraines, and wheat allergy. Additionally, the diet may exclude oats. Some people for whom the diet is recommended can tolerate oat products and some medical practitioners say they may be permitted, but there is some controversy about including them in a gluten-free diet because studies on the subject are incomplete. Even if oats are included, it is important to source these from a facility that is gluten free, as most oats are contaminated during processing.

Several grains and starch sources are considered acceptable for a gluten-free diet. The most frequently used are corn, potatoes, rice, and tapioca . Other grains and starch sources generally considered suitable for gluten-free diets include amaranth, arrowroot, millet, montina, lupin, quinoa, sorghum , sweet potato, taro, teff, chia seed, and yam. Various types of bean, soybean, and nut flours are sometimes used in gluten-free products to add protein and dietary fiber. In spite of its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat; pure buckwheat is considered acceptable for a gluten-free diet, although many commercial buckwheat products are actually mixtures of wheat and buckwheat flours, and thus not acceptable. Gram flour, derived from chickpeas, is also gluten-free .

Gluten is also used in foods in some unexpected ways, for example as a stabilizing agent or thickener in products like ice-cream and ketchup.

Wikipedia, Gluten free, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten_free (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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