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Bread/pasta Substitutes While Still Healing

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Dear All,

I have been gluten-free for about a month, and am doing a little better than I was before, but I am definitely not well yet. I have been very diligent and have an extremely strong will to get better, though I'm still learning the hard way where the hidden sources of gluten are in my life. I know that, particularly now, my body will do best with whole foods and limited ingredients, but I had not read before today that I should be avoiding bread and pasta substitutes. Thus far, these substitutes have been making my life seem a whole lot easier and like much less of a sacrifice -- it's so much easier to feel like you've had a real lunch if your meat is on some (gluten-free) sandwich bread. But today I've read two unrelated posts mentioning that these substitutes are not good for you when you are healing, and I would like to hear more about this -- if this is true, what makes them harmful? Is it simply the possibility of additional food intolerances, or are there specific ingredients in these breads, flours, and pastas that are harmful for healing villi?

Specifically, I have been eating corn pasta, rice pasta, quinoa-corn pasta, Whole Food's gluten-free sandwich bread and sundried-tomato bread, and baking with the Whole-foods all-purpose gluten-free baking mix (not all at once, of course :) ).

Thanks for your thoughts, and my apologies for the partial overlap of this topic with some other current threads...

best,

Emily

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Dear All,

I have been gluten-free for about a month, and am doing a little better than I was before, but I am definitely not well yet. I have been very diligent and have an extremely strong will to get better, though I'm still learning the hard way where the hidden sources of gluten are in my life. I know that, particularly now, my body will do best with whole foods and limited ingredients, but I had not read before today that I should be avoiding bread and pasta substitutes. Thus far, these substitutes have been making my life seem a whole lot easier and like much less of a sacrifice -- it's so much easier to feel like you've had a real lunch if your meat is on some (gluten-free) sandwich bread. But today I've read two unrelated posts mentioning that these substitutes are not good for you when you are healing, and I would like to hear more about this -- if this is true, what makes them harmful? Is it simply the possibility of additional food intolerances, or are there specific ingredients in these breads, flours, and pastas that are harmful for healing villi?

Specifically, I have been eating corn pasta, rice pasta, quinoa-corn pasta, Whole Food's gluten-free sandwich bread and sundried-tomato bread, and baking with the Whole-foods all-purpose gluten-free baking mix (not all at once, of course :) ).

Thanks for your thoughts, and my apologies for the partial overlap of this topic with some other current threads...

best,

Emily

I too am new to gluten free and did not know this. Shocked I am.........I have been living off of gluten free pasta. Maybe this is why my head doesn't feel much better????????

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I hadn't caught that either. The past year I bought rice, potato and sweet potato noodles from the Asain store. It was only recently that I bought some gluten free labeled pasta and I won't buy it again because it has MSG (pea protein) in it. I never really bought too much in the way of processed foods, and having gone gluten free--I still plan on limiting processed and refined packaged goods. I think reading the ingredient labels is just as important. I avoided bread even before going gluten free because I'm always watching my waistline. I have a slice of gluten free bread once in a while and there I've been doing pretty good thus far with my diet.

I can guess at the logic of the statement. Was there a specific reason stated for not eating pasta and bread?

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I suspect the "don't eat the freaky gluten-free bread" comes from not wanting folks to pay $5.00 for a loaf of bread just to find out it doesn't really taste like bread.

Don't get me wrong - I LIKE Pamela's pancakes. But they'd be a "choice," not a "requirement." They're too damn sweet.

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Dear All,

I have been gluten-free for about a month, and am doing a little better than I was before, but I am definitely not well yet. I have been very diligent and have an extremely strong will to get better, though I'm still learning the hard way where the hidden sources of gluten are in my life. I know that, particularly now, my body will do best with whole foods and limited ingredients, but I had not read before today that I should be avoiding bread and pasta substitutes. Thus far, these substitutes have been making my life seem a whole lot easier and like much less of a sacrifice -- it's so much easier to feel like you've had a real lunch if your meat is on some (gluten-free) sandwich bread. But today I've read two unrelated posts mentioning that these substitutes are not good for you when you are healing, and I would like to hear more about this -- if this is true, what makes them harmful? Is it simply the possibility of additional food intolerances, or are there specific ingredients in these breads, flours, and pastas that are harmful for healing villi?

Specifically, I have been eating corn pasta, rice pasta, quinoa-corn pasta, Whole Food's gluten-free sandwich bread and sundried-tomato bread, and baking with the Whole-foods all-purpose gluten-free baking mix (not all at once, of course :) ).

Thanks for your thoughts, and my apologies for the partial overlap of this topic with some other current threads...

best,

Emily

There is absolutely no reason why you cannot have the gluten-free versions of food you like, unless you do have additional food allergies/intolerances with the ingredients in these products. You would know that anyway because you would still continue to be sick. The idea that you shouldn't falls into the same category as not using topical products which contain gluten...it's a personal choice and not medically necessary, unless (here we go again!) you have a topical allergy to an ingredient.

You may want to limit them only because gluten-free grains tend to be denser and more calorie packed than non-gluten-free versions. In other words, if you eat a lot of this stuff, you'll start to pack the weight on. Some folks even become very constipated from them. I ate toast in the morning and ate pasta occasionally, along with baking a few brownie mixes and cookies when I was first diagnosed. I was also 15 pounds underweight and needed to gain some so I did eat these products and had absolutely no problems whatsoever.

It will take awhile to heal, depending on how bad you were at diagnosis. It was about 3 years before all my problems disappeared and my blood work regarding my deficiencies, became normal. However, after going 20+ with horrible symptoms and weight loss, I wasn't expecting to heal in a couple of months.

If the pasta and other foods seem to give you no problems after eating them, I say enjoy them and don't worry about it! Just make sure you do eat your fruits and veggies also as this will help guard against constipation. :blink:

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Thanks, Gemini, for this thoughtful response. It's good to know there isn't a categorical reason for me to avoid the substitutes right now. Their high caloric content is not an issue for me, at least not yet -- I'm mostly trying to make sure I get enough per day, having cut out so many of my old sources of calories. In general I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what my body does and doesn't want to eat at this stage, but I'm sure everyone here knows what that's like. I'll keep at it :rolleyes:

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Thanks, Gemini, for this thoughtful response. It's good to know there isn't a categorical reason for me to avoid the substitutes right now. Their high caloric content is not an issue for me, at least not yet -- I'm mostly trying to make sure I get enough per day, having cut out so many of my old sources of calories. In general I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what my body does and doesn't want to eat at this stage, but I'm sure everyone here knows what that's like. I'll keep at it :rolleyes:

Don't sweat it....you'll learn. If something doesn't appeal to me, I don't eat it. I haven't had too many things that haven't agreed with me. It will take awhile before you would start gaining anyway, if that's what you need to do. But I have found that some of the gluten-free baked goods are so yummy, yet have a million calories! I have gained 15 pounds and want to stay at this weight so have to be careful. That's a new concept for me! :lol:

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Since you are new to all this I thought I'd offer my take. Gemini is correct that many people seem able to well tolerate just "switching over" to substitute grains to replace the beloved gluten. Unfortunately, there are many of us for whom that just didn't work. First, there is an issue with cross contact in non-dedicated companies for those of us who sadly and incredulously discover we are "super sensitive" to gluten, and second, some of us have several other intolerances or just don't tolerate grains- period.

If you discover you are still not feeling great, I would recommend getting rid of MOST processed foods, cooking from whole foods only and keeping a detailed food log with symptoms, adding in a new item slowly and painfully ONE item at a time. If you feel you are progressing well, you may not need to do this but I thought you should know there are LOTS of us here who've found this was the only route to discovering all that bothers us and how to feel better. For us, a diet similar to a "caveman" or the paleolithic diet has helped. If you research these terms or the "specific carbohydrate diet" it may give you a rounder perspective on the extenuating circumstances of various digestive systems!

Good luck and welcome!

lisa

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Thanks so much for the welcome, Lisa, and for your perspective. I'll definitely keep your advice in mind and be very cautious with grains in general. I do know about the SCDiet and have been praying that I won't have to be quite that restrictive -- but I will do whatever it takes to find health. This forum is such a great resource, and I'm very glad to have found you all.

~Emily

Since you are new to all this I thought I'd offer my take. Gemini is correct that many people seem able to well tolerate just "switching over" to substitute grains to replace the beloved gluten. Unfortunately, there are many of us for whom that just didn't work. First, there is an issue with cross contact in non-dedicated companies for those of us who sadly and incredulously discover we are "super sensitive" to gluten, and second, some of us have several other intolerances or just don't tolerate grains- period.

If you discover you are still not feeling great, I would recommend getting rid of MOST processed foods, cooking from whole foods only and keeping a detailed food log with symptoms, adding in a new item slowly and painfully ONE item at a time. If you feel you are progressing well, you may not need to do this but I thought you should know there are LOTS of us here who've found this was the only route to discovering all that bothers us and how to feel better. For us, a diet similar to a "caveman" or the paleolithic diet has helped. If you research these terms or the "specific carbohydrate diet" it may give you a rounder perspective on the extenuating circumstances of various digestive systems!

Good luck and welcome!

lisa

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Since you are new to all this I thought I'd offer my take. Gemini is correct that many people seem able to well tolerate just "switching over" to substitute grains to replace the beloved gluten. Unfortunately, there are many of us for whom that just didn't work. First, there is an issue with cross contact in non-dedicated companies for those of us who sadly and incredulously discover we are "super sensitive" to gluten, and second, some of us have several other intolerances or just don't tolerate grains- period.

If you discover you are still not feeling great, I would recommend getting rid of MOST processed foods, cooking from whole foods only and keeping a detailed food log with symptoms, adding in a new item slowly and painfully ONE item at a time. If you feel you are progressing well, you may not need to do this but I thought you should know there are LOTS of us here who've found this was the only route to discovering all that bothers us and how to feel better. For us, a diet similar to a "caveman" or the paleolithic diet has helped. If you research these terms or the "specific carbohydrate diet" it may give you a rounder perspective on the extenuating circumstances of various digestive systems!

Good luck and welcome!

lisa

I am about as super sensitive a Celiac as you can get and was near to a feeding tube at time of diagnosis so I really do not think this issue is related to how sensitive a person is. I totally agree that some people cannot tolerate grains in general or have a problem with other foods like soy and dairy but that is a separate issue of multiple intolerances. The grains I bought were not CC'd because if they were , I never would have recovered to the point I have. I really think some people get overly worked up and fearful about food when diagnosed. If you buy from a reputable supplier of gluten-free grains and flours and do not have many intolerances/allergies, then eating gluten-free mixes or carbs when first healing should not be a problem....unless you go overboard and eat way too much. That would be true of any grain, regardless of whether or not you even have celiac disease. It's not hard to figure out whether a food is bothering you, either. If your recovery has slowed or is just not happening the way it should, or if symptoms persist, then gluten is probably not the only problem you have.

I think the original poster stated that they were eating gluten-free pasta and grains, without a problem, but read that they shouldn't. I was just making the point there really is no need to avoid these products, unless you are having problems that need further investigating.

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Clearly if one is not having a problem, one should not sweat the details. Everyone is different and it is wonderful if you have had not issues with cc with some companies. That has not been the case for me. My reaction to gluten is dramatic, specific, horrendous and absolutely unique so when cc is a problem, I know. That said, I also eat almost no grains for other reasons.

Luckily, everyone using this board can glean whatever advice seems relevant to their circumstance.

lisa

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Luckily, everyone using this board can glean whatever advice seems relevant to their circumstance.

This is so true, Lisa. I know that at first I felt like I must be the only one who was so sensitive and had to avoid other foods. For many that's not the case, but all any of us can do is bring to the table our own experience-- and that's a good thing since you never know who will be helped by your words that day. :)

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Patti,

Thank you! Your thoughtful response means a lot to me on this particular day.

Hope you are feeling well,

lisa

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Hi Lisa--sounds like you need a hug :D

The original poster said that she was "definitely not well yet", and since she was consuming some of the gluten-free substitutes I think it was definitely prudent to advise her that it's quite possible to be sensitive to the alternate gluten-free grains.

I can remember thinking it was impossible to be intolerant to tapioca :lol:

Plus, even if it turns out you have no other sensitivities, the healing process is different for all of us, and many find that laying off the grains and processed foods for a while is helpful.

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Patti,

Your "cyber hug" was EXACTLY what I needed- thank you!

More information does seem to be better than less, yes. (Although I can think of some times when they may not be true...)

Hugs back,

lisa

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Sorry, "...when THAT might not be true." is what I meant to write- yikes, I'm losin' it- what I had, anyway...

lisa

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Dear All,

I have been gluten-free for about a month, and am doing a little better than I was before, but I am definitely not well yet. I have been very diligent and have an extremely strong will to get better, though I'm still learning the hard way where the hidden sources of gluten are in my life. I know that, particularly now, my body will do best with whole foods and limited ingredients, but I had not read before today that I should be avoiding bread and pasta substitutes. Thus far, these substitutes have been making my life seem a whole lot easier and like much less of a sacrifice -- it's so much easier to feel like you've had a real lunch if your meat is on some (gluten-free) sandwich bread. But today I've read two unrelated posts mentioning that these substitutes are not good for you when you are healing, and I would like to hear more about this -- if this is true, what makes them harmful? Is it simply the possibility of additional food intolerances, or are there specific ingredients in these breads, flours, and pastas that are harmful for healing villi?

Specifically, I have been eating corn pasta, rice pasta, quinoa-corn pasta, Whole Food's gluten-free sandwich bread and sundried-tomato bread, and baking with the Whole-foods all-purpose gluten-free baking mix (not all at once, of course :) ).

Thanks for your thoughts, and my apologies for the partial overlap of this topic with some other current threads...

best,

Emily

Emily, I believe one of my posts could have been one of the ones that sparked this discussion, so just thought I would throw in my two cents here from what I've experienced and learned in this process (which at this point, still isn't much) so far!! :rolleyes: After just a few days on the gluten free diet I had started to improve, then I ate some gluten free spaghetti one day and had the worst reaction I've ever had, and I've just never had a reaction like that before. I couldn't believe it myself!! I'd read that for some people it's best to stick with the basics for at least a while, so didn't eat anything else processed for a few days, then had some gluten free pancakes. This reaction topped the spaghetti reaction! Within minutes I was dashing for the bathroom multiple times. :( I was floored! I still can't believe my body reacted that way, as, again, I just don't DO that!! NEVER in my 33 years have I had a reaction to anything I've eaten like that, that I can remember (other than when I might have been sick). I suppose I should add here that I used a brand new bottle of gluten free spaghetti sauce and a brand new bottle of gluten free syrup with those. The people who responded to my post about this and the other person who had a similar reaction had obviously heard of this kind of response, if not experienced it, so were trying to help us make sense of it all, and what could be the root cause of our unique experiences. It turns out that we may not be so unique after all! There is so much about this that is not "categorical" and everyone seems to react differently to different things. SO...I think that if you were going to have a reaction like that, you would have known it immediately! :P But I'd say, if, after a couple more months, you're not greatly improved, it might be appropriate to try the elimination diet approach, but as long as you are improving and not having a major reaction like I had, you're probably fine eating the gluten free substitutes! Enjoy!!

Blessings!

Bethany

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Gemini and Lisa --

Just to set the record straight, I wasn't really clear in my first post about whether I was having problems with the grain substitutes -- because I don't know yet, myself. So, both of your responses were equally relevant and helpful to me -- one that there's no categorical reason not to eat the subistitutes, and the other that, in my individual case, it's still possible that I'll need to avoid them. I'm definitely keeping BOTH sets of advice in mind.

best,

Emily :)

I am about as super sensitive a Celiac as you can get and was near to a feeding tube at time of diagnosis so I really do not think this issue is related to how sensitive a person is. I totally agree that some people cannot tolerate grains in general or have a problem with other foods like soy and dairy but that is a separate issue of multiple intolerances. The grains I bought were not CC'd because if they were , I never would have recovered to the point I have. I really think some people get overly worked up and fearful about food when diagnosed. If you buy from a reputable supplier of gluten-free grains and flours and do not have many intolerances/allergies, then eating gluten-free mixes or carbs when first healing should not be a problem....unless you go overboard and eat way too much. That would be true of any grain, regardless of whether or not you even have celiac disease. It's not hard to figure out whether a food is bothering you, either. If your recovery has slowed or is just not happening the way it should, or if symptoms persist, then gluten is probably not the only problem you have.

I think the original poster stated that they were eating gluten-free pasta and grains, without a problem, but read that they shouldn't. I was just making the point there really is no need to avoid these products, unless you are having problems that need further investigating.

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Thanks, Bethany! I appreciate the elaboration :D

~Emily

Emily, I believe one of my posts could have been one of the ones that sparked this discussion, so just thought I would throw in my two cents here from what I've experienced and learned in this process (which at this point, still isn't much) so far!! :rolleyes: After just a few days on the gluten free diet I had started to improve, then I ate some gluten free spaghetti one day and had the worst reaction I've ever had, and I've just never had a reaction like that before. I couldn't believe it myself!! I'd read that for some people it's best to stick with the basics for at least a while, so didn't eat anything else processed for a few days, then had some gluten free pancakes. This reaction topped the spaghetti reaction! Within minutes I was dashing for the bathroom multiple times. :( I was floored! I still can't believe my body reacted that way, as, again, I just don't DO that!! NEVER in my 33 years have I had a reaction to anything I've eaten like that, that I can remember (other than when I might have been sick). I suppose I should add here that I used a brand new bottle of gluten free spaghetti sauce and a brand new bottle of gluten free syrup with those. The people who responded to my post about this and the other person who had a similar reaction had obviously heard of this kind of response, if not experienced it, so were trying to help us make sense of it all, and what could be the root cause of our unique experiences. It turns out that we may not be so unique after all! There is so much about this that is not "categorical" and everyone seems to react differently to different things. SO...I think that if you were going to have a reaction like that, you would have known it immediately! :P But I'd say, if, after a couple more months, you're not greatly improved, it might be appropriate to try the elimination diet approach, but as long as you are improving and not having a major reaction like I had, you're probably fine eating the gluten free substitutes! Enjoy!!

Blessings!

Bethany

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