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Which grains are safe, which are not?

The common list of forbidden grains is: wheat, rye, barley and oats.

Unfortunately, there are variants out there that go by other names. Durum and semolina are names for certain kinds of wheat that have been bred for specific uses. Both spelt and kamut are versions of wheat. (Other names for these: spelt, Polish wheat, einkorn and small spelt). Bulgur is wheat thats been specially processed. Triticale, a grain crossbred from wheat and rye, is definitely on the toxic list.

Though corn (maize) is one of those grains that many people -- not just celiacs -- may be allergic to, it is not a grain that is thought to cause damage to the villi in celiacs. It is tolerated by most celiacs.

Of the common grains, rice is the favorite as it rarely troubles anyone.

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Aside from corn and rice, there is a wide variety of other grains that are used in gluten-free cooking. We even use beans and peas (legumes, pulses).

The following can be milled into flour: amaranth*, buckwheat* (or kasha), chickpeas (garbanzos), Jobs tears (Hato Mugi, Junos Tears, River Grain), lentils, millet*, peas, quinoa*, ragi, sorghum, soy, tapioca, teff*, and wild rice. Many of these flours are available in health food stores. Some (like rice flour) may be available in grocery stores. (The products marked with an "*" are listed as grains to avoid by some physicians and celiac societies. See the discussion below about anecdotal evidence and possible contamination of flours for more information.)

To improve the texture of gluten-free baked goods, most cooks use one or more of the following: xanthan gum, guar gum (though this sometimes has a laxative effect), methylcellulose, or a new product called Clear Gel. These can be obtained either through health food stores, specialty cooks stores, or some of the mail order sources listed below.

Oils popular in cooking include: corn, peanut, olive, rapeseed (canola), safflower, soy, and sunflower.

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2 Responses:

 
Nancy Olson
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said this on
11 Jul 2008 11:46:27 AM PDT
About the same time as you, I got diagnosed with GI. but my nutritionist had an impossibly long list of grains to avoid. All I remembered was rice and corn were OK. I'd welcome alternatives.
cheers,
Nancy in San Jose CA

 
Ahmed Mohammmad
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
07 Aug 2008 4:08:33 PM PDT
Oats do not harm most celiac disease adult patients.




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Vegetarian here too, celiac really makes it tough as all the Quorn meat replacement products bar the odd one or two are out Then there's all the scare sites saying only paleo type diets will repair your insides but guess what they're all heavily meat / fish based. @Ennis_TX has some good ideas for meals

Wow guys just read all the replies Thankyou all so much!!! There are so many things you've all said that has triggered a light bulb in my little head! The glasses may not be clean!! I will put this to a test. One night I'll stick to bottles of cider (double checked are gluten-free) another I'll try the Gin or William chase vodka if I can find it! And see the effects. if I loose many days due to these not working I'll see a practitioner and see what the deal is! Before I was diagnosed at Coeliac... I went to a herbalist who did a test and said corn is funny on my body!!! But then 18months later (when I became incontinant and lost a lot of weight) my bloods came back positive (after begging the docs and telling them it wasn't IBS) i don't tend to snack at bars on food but I must admit I never thought it could be the way it's served!! The humour and information has made me feel so much better thanks all xxx

Hey Matt thanks for your reply fellow Brit! I this is very interesting... I am very sensitive to cross contamination... e.g. A sieve wasn't washed properly when I lived at my mums so when I had drained my gluten-free pasta .. I hadn't even eaten the dish before I started to pass out and go dizzy and hot .. calling for my bf and mum ( they had a great team going when I would have an episode) it's horrendous! The fatigue is something I imagine every coeliac suffers with! I have to nap a lot. Ok so the booze I drink most of is -processo -amaretto -vodka, wine, cider (very rarely) when I drink at home I'm fine!!! I wonder if it's cross contamination from the bar or the level of alcohol?! I also had a jger bomb shot on Friday (looked it up and a lot of people say it's gluten-free) it's a hard live but someone's got to do it!! Thanks for the reply! When you get poorly from gluten (and the other evil candidates) are you so bad you can't function and feel your body is about to snap? Kind regards steph

Hi Steph and welcome I'm yet another Brit, funny how the alcohol threads flush us out I don't drink now but after a big night I used to get truly savage all day hangovers, much worse than those of my friends. They could include splitting headaches, vomiting, nausea, a 'fuzziness' in my head, sweats etc. After I put the pieces together and went gluten free I had a 'big night' on cider only and the next day was a revelation. What I'd thought was a 'normal' hangover was, for me at least, anything but. With gluten out of the equation hangovers were a breeze! The difference was mind blowing and just one more example of how gluten had been messing with me over the years. So when I read your post my first thought was that there was some trace gluten contamination going on. However: Obviously you've been at the diet for some considerable time now and know the score. I know Coeliac UK are firmly of the opinion that all spirits are safe but some (note some this a contentious one :D) members here will tell you they react to gluten based grain spirits for instance which distillation should render safe. Then there's the dangers of shared lines if you're drinking say Strongbow in a pub as alluded to above. Lastly it its wine, there's the often cited but maybe apocryphal these days 'flour to seal the casks' possibility. Finally there's bar snacks, maybe a brand of nuts etc that you snack on that may have changed their production process? I'm sure you've thought of these already, but it may be useful if you post your alcoholic drink choices / bar snack of choice up here maybe someone will have some input?. The second thing which leapt out was: Would you class yourself as super sensitive to cross contamination etc? Firstly that would make the cross contamination theory more compelling. You could test that out by having a drink at home under controlled circumstances to see whether the same issue arises? That could also answer the quantity question. Does one safe drink trigger it, two, three etc? Finally, and this is one that I find difficult, knowing you have the gluten issue may lead you to assume it's that when it could be something else. I tend to attribute EVERYTHING in the world to gluten these days due to it being able to affect me in so many different ways. Crisis in Korea? Gluten. Russian tanks massing on the Ukrainian border? Check their wheat intake. Global warming? etc. So it may make sense to pursue some other ideas at the same time. Try: http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/suddenly-drinking-alcohol-makes-me-sick http://www.steadyhealth.com/topics/very-abnormal-hangovers-thinking-it-could-be-allergy-to-alcohol and a doctor's answer: http://www.steadyhealth.com/medical-answers/abnormal-reactions-to-alcohol Cheers Sorry, best of luck! Matt

Similarly, I've been vegetarian for 25+ years. A 2015 Nature study connecting emulsifiers with microbiome changes has me wondering about the processed foods that I ate in the past, and I wonder about the wisdom of eating as much seitan as I did. I mostly prefer my post-diagnosis diet since it forces me to consider every ingredient and to cook from scratch more.