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  • I need advice from people eating gluten-free or wheat-free diets

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    Old 10-06-2006, 05:28 PM   #1
    GurlyGurly_17
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    I need advice from people eating gluten-free or wheat-free diets

    So I'm trying to gain weight and I have a number of horrible food allergies, and im starting suspect that I might have a gluten/wheat sensitivity on top of it...so the whole weight gain thing is becoming really really tough and uncomfortable. I suspect that I have a gluten intolerance because since i have such terrible allergies, my nutritionist is trying to help me to gain weight by adding a ton of whole grain bread to my diet (along with a few other things), but now I'm even more constipated than I was before...and when I do go, it's a very tiny bit, it's liquidy, and the solids tend to float. I have terrible bloating along with this. My bowels are soooo slow. SOOO...i decided that I need to cut out a little bit of the gluten, but I still have to keep SOME in order to keep up my weight gain. So I was wondering for all the people out there who are sensitive to gluten, which products with gluten and wheat are you MOST sensitive too, and are there any that cause you less symptoms or that you can tolerate? I guess im just looking for advice on what to cut out and what might be kind of okay to keep eating....

     
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    Old 10-06-2006, 11:36 PM   #2
    rheanna
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    Re: I need advice from people eating gluten-free or wheat-free diets

    GurlyGurly_17,

    If you want to find out if you are reacting to gluten, then you have to remove ALL gluten from your diet. If there is ANY gluten in your diet, your body will still react. I have removed ALL gluten from my diet -- there is no form of it that I am less sensitive to.

    Your nutritionist is pushing the whole grains in order to make sure that you are getting lots of the vitamins and minerals and fiber that are in whole grains. These good nutrients are removed when whole wheat is made into white flour -- BUT white flour still has lots of gluten in it. Your nutritionist is trying to make life simple for you -- wheat is a MAJOR part of the western diet, and it's not that hard to switch from white flour products to whole wheat products, so he/she is trying to improve your diet without introducing too many strange foods.

    Other options (which I mention below) are just as good nutritionally, but they are not as well known to us in the western world, and your nutritionist herself/himself may not even be familiar with many of them. But those of use who live gluten-free have had to learn about a lot of other options. Our nutrition is just as good as it was with a gluten diet, BUT we are absorbing more of the nutrients because out bodies are not having problems digesting them.

    There are other whole grains besides wheat. Rye, barley and oats are also good whole grains, but they also have gluten. So they are NOT appropriate if you are trying to find out if you are gluten-sensitive.

    Other whole "grains" which you CAN try (these are not technically "grains" but they have similar nutritional content) are buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa, millet, brown rice, corn (maize), potatoes. Some of these items you can find at a health-food store. Others, of course, you can find in any grocery store. These foods will give you the calories, vitamins, minerals and fiber which will work fine in the "Starch" or "Carbohydrates" category of your diet.

    Look for information on Celiac Disease -- there are some good books in the bookstore, and you may be able to find some in your local library.

    It is better to purchase your foods individually and cook them yourself, because gluten is included in MANY foods that you purchase pre-packaged. A good Celiac book will give you a list of ingredients which are really gluten in disguise.

    Some simple (more familiar) examples of gluten-free foods:

    -- rice-crackers (these look like thick circles made from styrofoam -- they're really puffed rice), which you can put peanut butter or cheese on.

    --potatoes, which you cook yourself -- no instant potatoes or potato chips because of the added ingredients.

    --corn (maize) -- including cornflakes for breakfast, but make sure that the cornflakes DON'T have malt in them as malt is made from barley -- polenta which you make yourself or read the list of ingredients on the package to make sure it's gluten-free.

    --beans and lentils have good carbohydrates as well as protein.

    Basically, I have learned to cook from scratch AND read every bit of the ingredient list on pre-packaged foods.

    Feel free to ask any more questions. My life is really MUCH better since I stopped eating gluten. Even if you do this for only a few weeks, and then decide later that gluten wasn't a problem for you after all, I think the experiment will allow you to see that there are a lot more delicious and nutritious foods out there than wheat-based ones.

    Good luck with finding out what's bothering your digestion.

    --Rheanna

     
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