Terrified to Eliminate Gluten from my Diet

Terrified to Eliminate Gluten from my Diet

This past month I’ve been reading about foods that may aggravate Multiple Sclerosis or other anti inflammatory diseases.  Through hours of research, I’ve discovered the foods the cause inflammation are gluten, dairy, meat, legumes, caffeine, alcohol and nightshades.

I had never even heard of nightshades, which apparently includes white potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and chili powder.

It would be impossible to eliminate all of those foods so for now I am going to focus on one at a time starting with gluten. The only way to really know is to do a 14-day trial period.  Beginning today I will eliminate gluten for 2 weeks from my diet.  According to The Mayo Clinic this includes:

Avoid all food and drinks containing:

  • Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley)
  • Rye
  • Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
  • Wheat

Avoiding wheat can be challenging because wheat products go by numerous names. Consider the many types of wheat flour on supermarket shelves — bromated, enriched, phosphated, plain and self-rising. Here are other wheat products to avoid:

  • Bulgur
  • Durum flour
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Kamut
  • Semolina
  • Spelt

Avoid unless labeled ‘gluten-free’
In general, avoid the following foods unless they’re labeled as gluten-free or made with corn, rice, soy or other gluten-free grain:

  • Beer
  • Breads
  • Cakes and pies
  • Candies
  • Cereals
  • Cookies and crackers
  • Croutons
  • French fries
  • Gravies
  • Imitation meat or seafood
  • Matzo
  • Pastas
  • Processed luncheon meats
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces, including soy sauce
  • Seasoned rice mixes
  • Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
  • Self-basting poultry
  • Soups and soup bases
  • Vegetables in sauce

Certain grains, such as oats, can be contaminated with wheat during growing and processing stages of production. For this reason, doctors and dietitians generally recommend avoiding oats unless they are specifically labeled gluten-free.

You should also be alert for other products that you eat or that could come in contact with your mouth that may contain gluten. These include:

  • Food additives, such as malt flavoring, modified food starch and others
  • Medications and vitamins that use gluten as a binding agent
  • Play dough

This is not going to be easy.  My basic diet does not include many of the above, although I often mindlessly throw a pretzel or cracker in my mouth.  As much as I enjoy cooking, this diet makes dining out something I do a few times a week impossible.

On Day 15 I will eat gluten and observe any changes in my body.  After that, I will reevaluate if I should continue a gluten free diet or try to eliminate something else.

I really don’t know if it will be possible, but I will try.

Please share any gluten free recipes, tips or advice. 

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