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Old 03-13-2013, 10:17 PM   #1
indygirl99
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Gluten Free?

Okay to my knowledge I don't have problems with gluten. No tummy problems after eating bread, no intestine problem etc.

BUT I know there could be stuff going on that I'm not aware of.

I made a decision last June to work on getting healthier and my first goal was to get out and run (more exercise). I ran/walk/ran Tinker Bell in Jan and have 6 more races (10K and half marathons) planned for this year. I am a slow run/walker but am working on increasing fitness and speed with each planned race.

Now I want to work on the diet. I have decreased 30 pounds since last June which is good but I have another 70 to decrease and I know that running alone will not do it.

So that brings me to gluten free. I know that there are gluten free breads out there but I think getting rid of all the junk and foods with gluten in them and at a later date adding in the gluten free versions would be better for me. Right now bread is bread and if it is warm I'm on it faster than melted butter. So I think getting rid of everthing and not doing "versions" of would be better.

So If I eat fresh veggies, fruits, salad stuff and real fish, chicken, eggs and beans would I be getting rid of gluten? Are steel cut oats okay? Where is gluten hidden? What am I looking for on labels? I plan on olive oli and flavored vinegars for the salad.

I know there are a ton of books out there on the subject but that is the problem. I don't know which one of the 498,873,145,398 books to get.

Help?
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:06 AM   #2
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Congrats on the healthy life style changes!

You are right in your decision not to simply replace gluten containing foods with gluten-free versions. Gluten-free breads are not necessarily healthier than traditional wheat breads. In fact, many contain higher sodium and have a higher carb count. They are intended as a safe wheat alternative for people who suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivities, and not a diet food as many are treating them now. You can't lose weight while still filling yourself with rice pasta just because it doesn't contain wheat.

Steel-cut oats are usually gluten-free. A person with celiac must be careful with oats due to cross contamination during food processing or production, and because oats contain avanin, which can trigger a similar response as gluten does for those with sensitivities.

Fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, and meats are all naturally gluten-free.

If you aren't gluten sensitive, then the small amounts of gluten in prepared salad dressings aren't enough to harm you. While flavored vinegars are typically gluten free, those that contain malt are not. Again, I worry less about the gluten in flavored vinegar or prepared dressing, than I do worrying about hidden sodium or sugar.

Stay away from breads, pastas, and processed foods—that should be enough for you to remove most of the gluten in your diet. I'm certain that you will feel better and it will help you kick start your weight loss. My daughter is the only gluten sensitive person in our family but we've all seen the benefit of lowering gluten in our diets.

Good luck!
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:16 AM   #3
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If you think you have an issue with gluten please be tested first. The tests are inaccurate without gluten in your diet.

Gluten free isnt any healthier unless you're just dropping bread products. The GF products are usually higher in fat to get them to stick together, and arent typically fortified. The only time a GF diet is truly healthier with the products is if you are gluten intolerant or celiac. I'm really sick of my medical diet being a Fad Diet that people want to lose weight on. It makes it a lot more difficult for me to get a restaurant to understand no really I have a disease a nasty disease. Americans eat way too many proccessed foods in general and too many carbs. Focusing on more produce and lean proteins is good for everyone. However unless you have a real issue with gluten it is a healthy protein to be consuming.


I'm telling you this because celiac is a killer. It can be silent. If you have any suspicions of celiac get tested. It is imperative you keep an entirely GF lifestyle if you have it.

I'm a celiac and I've been GF for 9 years. Before that the disease almost killed me. So please if you have suspicions get tested.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:52 PM   #4
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Like es45 mentioned, some of the GF foods aren't necessarily better because they do contain higher amounts of carbs, sodium etc.

Another thing to keep in mind is that GF foods are expensive!!
My DD and DW are GF but me and my DS are not. I went to publix the other day and bought a loaf of GF bread for $5.99 and a regular loaf of bread for $2.49. The regular loaf of bread had more than twice amount of slices. Crazy. There are other examples, but just be prepared for sticker shot on some of the GF foods. You pay more for less.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by es45 View Post
Congrats on the healthy life style changes!

You are right in your decision not to simply replace gluten containing foods with gluten-free versions. Gluten-free breads are not necessarily healthier than traditional wheat breads. In fact, many contain higher sodium and have a higher carb count. They are intended as a safe wheat alternative for people who suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivities, and not a diet food as many are treating them now. You can't lose weight while still filling yourself with rice pasta just because it doesn't contain wheat.

Steel-cut oats are usually gluten-free. A person with celiac must be careful with oats due to cross contamination during food processing or production, and because oats contain avanin, which can trigger a similar response as gluten does for those with sensitivities.

Fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, and meats are all naturally gluten-free.

If you aren't gluten sensitive, then the small amounts of gluten in prepared salad dressings aren't enough to harm you. While flavored vinegars are typically gluten free, those that contain malt are not. Again, I worry less about the gluten in flavored vinegar or prepared dressing, than I do worrying about hidden sodium or sugar.

Stay away from breads, pastas, and processed foods—that should be enough for you to remove most of the gluten in your diet. I'm certain that you will feel better and it will help you kick start your weight loss. My daughter is the only gluten sensitive person in our family but we've all seen the benefit of lowering gluten in our diets.

Good luck!
Thanks for the encouragement. I am determined to live the next 50 years healthier than the first.

I never thought that I would be able to run and I have found that not only can I do it but that I love doing it and am happier because I run. So on to the better eating lifestyle.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dewingedpixie View Post
If you think you have an issue with gluten please be tested first. The tests are inaccurate without gluten in your diet.

Gluten free isnt any healthier unless you're just dropping bread products. The GF products are usually higher in fat to get them to stick together, and arent typically fortified. The only time a GF diet is truly healthier with the products is if you are gluten intolerant or celiac. I'm really sick of my medical diet being a Fad Diet that people want to lose weight on. It makes it a lot more difficult for me to get a restaurant to understand no really I have a disease a nasty disease. Americans eat way too many proccessed foods in general and too many carbs. Focusing on more produce and lean proteins is good for everyone. However unless you have a real issue with gluten it is a healthy protein to be consuming.


I'm telling you this because celiac is a killer. It can be silent. If you have any suspicions of celiac get tested. It is imperative you keep an entirely GF lifestyle if you have it.

I'm a celiac and I've been GF for 9 years. Before that the disease almost killed me. So please if you have suspicions get tested.
I don't plan on substituting "gluten free" products for those that have gluten. I realize that the "free" products are not any healthier just like "fat free" and "sugar free" are often worse for you than the natrual product.

I am also not by any means looking at this as a "fad diet". I am serious about finding a healthier lifestyle, as I had stated before, that is why I am asking questions.

I also get that most people do not understand how serious a medical problem can be.
I have a latex allergy and have to educate many people that it is very serious.

No you can not deliver my newspaper with a rubber band around it to keep it together.

Those gloves that you use to prepare my food can kill me. And yes if it says LATEX on the box that means they are latex gloves. I have walked away from many resturants after being told they do not use latex gloves to have them show me the box they get their gloves from and have to point out that yes they DO use latex gloves.

It is very serious just ask the doctor who flipped latex gloves at me when I asked it the gloves he was holding were latex. He got to take care of me in ICU because that is how serious my allergy is. He also got to go before the review board to explain himself.

And don't get me started on finding clothes, socks, underpants, bras that do not have latex in the "elastic".

And then there is my favorite activity at Disneyland called Balloon Dodging. And all the smart aleck remarks I get that go something like "well if you have are allergic to balloons why would you come to Disneyland". Which I usually just bite my tongue and not reply to.

Okay stepping off my soap box now.

As for getting tested my doc and I have decided that would be a waste for me. I have developed some allergies in my 30 years in nursing and ALL the test for them show I am NOT allergic to what we know I am. The above discussion about latex, well the test showed I am not allergic to latex but any exposure and I have anaphlactic reaction. Same with about 6 other reactors in my life.

So that being said I thought I would come to my friendly DIS friends to get information and get pointed in the right direction for some friendly and accepting website to gather acurate information and help.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scribega View Post
Like es45 mentioned, some of the GF foods aren't necessarily better because they do contain higher amounts of carbs, sodium etc.

Another thing to keep in mind is that GF foods are expensive!!
My DD and DW are GF but me and my DS are not. I went to publix the other day and bought a loaf of GF bread for $5.99 and a regular loaf of bread for $2.49. The regular loaf of bread had more than twice amount of slices. Crazy. There are other examples, but just be prepared for sticker shot on some of the GF foods. You pay more for less.
I noticed that in the store yesterday. It seems like all the items that are better for us and a healthier option are more expensive. The junk food is much cheaper. It is no wonder we have such an unhealthy population.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:00 PM   #8
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indygirl99, one thing I forgot to mention this morning was that those who follow a gluten-free diet may not get enough of :
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Fiber
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Folate

Be sure to supplement with whole foods to make certain you are getting enough of these nutrients.

You can find a safe food list here: http://www.celiac.com/

It can be stressful finding gluten-free foods, and it doesn't sound like you have to go to that extreme. I think you'll see a big improvement by just cutting out the obvious breads, cookies, crackers, and pastas.

Good luck with the running too!
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indygirl99 View Post
I don't plan on substituting "gluten free" products for those that have gluten. I realize that the "free" products are not any healthier just like "fat free" and "sugar free" are often worse for you than the natrual product.

I am also not by any means looking at this as a "fad diet". I am serious about finding a healthier lifestyle, as I had stated before, that is why I am asking questions.

I also get that most people do not understand how serious a medical problem can be.
I have a latex allergy and have to educate many people that it is very serious.

No you can not deliver my newspaper with a rubber band around it to keep it together.

Those gloves that you use to prepare my food can kill me. And yes if it says LATEX on the box that means they are latex gloves. I have walked away from many resturants after being told they do not use latex gloves to have them show me the box they get their gloves from and have to point out that yes they DO use latex gloves.

It is very serious just ask the doctor who flipped latex gloves at me when I asked it the gloves he was holding were latex. He got to take care of me in ICU because that is how serious my allergy is. He also got to go before the review board to explain himself.

And don't get me started on finding clothes, socks, underpants, bras that do not have latex in the "elastic".

And then there is my favorite activity at Disneyland called Balloon Dodging. And all the smart aleck remarks I get that go something like "well if you have are allergic to balloons why would you come to Disneyland". Which I usually just bite my tongue and not reply to.

Okay stepping off my soap box now.

As for getting tested my doc and I have decided that would be a waste for me. I have developed some allergies in my 30 years in nursing and ALL the test for them show I am NOT allergic to what we know I am. The above discussion about latex, well the test showed I am not allergic to latex but any exposure and I have anaphlactic reaction. Same with about 6 other reactors in my life.

So that being said I thought I would come to my friendly DIS friends to get information and get pointed in the right direction for some friendly and accepting website to gather acurate information and help.
I get anaphalaxis too I carry epi for latex and kiwi. My latex allergy is contact derrived, and inhaled but my lungs swell shut and my skin blisters. Kiwi they taste good but apparently they want to kill me too :/

I am not trying to be a witch with a B to you, if you're trying to cut carbs in general to be healthier this is really great. As stated most americans eat too much crap.

Its just become an extreme rubbing the wrong way spot with me lately to see GF EVERYWHERE. You have to understand as to why when it annoys me to see Dominos with a GF pizza and they state this is not for those allergic to gluten or with celiac. Then *** is the point?

I've actually had friends ask me if thats why I'm so lean and then proceed to ask how much weight they could lose on my diet. At which point my head litterally spins like the exorcist and I have to explain to them if I ate that twinkie you ate 20 minutes ago I'd loose 10 pounds and have to go to the hospital.

So I'm sorry if that rubbed you the wrong way. You just have to understand how in a case like mine the whole current movement of GF is great and healthy drives me BSN!

As to the testing it is important. I found out at 24 I had irreversible osteoporosis. I cried for about 2 days after that. At 25 I was diagnosed with a rare hybrid of AS and RA caused by celiac they call it IBD inflammatory arthritis, only mine went rogue of the IBD a situation that had NEVER been documented in a celiac before. I now have Sjogrens which lies on the same marker as the celiac. I have pancreas problems, and refractory sprue. I'm a HOT MESS. This is why it is so very important. The malnutrition and over stimulation of the immune system leads to cancers, and many other diseases. These things need to be looked at as well if you have celiac. Also if you have celiac you have to avoid all gluten in things you would never think of like make-up, shampoo, etc. We have 2 toasters in our house thats how I knew my fiance was an ultimate winner within weeks of us dating he bought a second toaster for me at his house, and replaced his cookware. We keep gluten foods in separate cabinets, or on the bottom of the pantry to not contaminate mine. We dont keep real flour, I got sick tossing old flour. Little things make a huge difference.

The biggest reason to be tested is that its genetic. I have it, my mom has it. We suspect her mother and sister have it, but they refuse to be tested. My daughter's gastro is watching her like a hawk she has the gene and though she isnt testing positive her digestive tract is in shreds currently and she's not growing. We expect to pull her from gluten in the next 6 months. As Dr Fasano (a leading celiac doctor) said "We dont find one person with celiac disease we find whole families". I was the first and now we know there are 4, the two who refuse testing admit they probably do have it they just dont want to deal with it. So this affects your family too .


Good replacements that arent carb loaded:

Put bbq on a salad. Once upon a time GF bread was basically a card board box that looked like bread. I found out that bbq is actually better on a salad this way and though the products are better now I havent gone back. (the same can be said for tuna)

Hamburgers, or in my case turkey, is better on lettuce too. Bread really soaks up all the juices. You can get this at Red Robin

Spaghetti Squash is awesome. I eat it a thousand ways.

Another good pasta swap is to use eggplant, or squash in general. Its not stringy like pasta but its filling. I'll chop this up with a sausage and throw pasta sauce on.

You can crush almonds for the crust of a cheese cake . I do this at holidays.

Lara bars are fantastic. I really like the chocolate chip cookie one. Its fruit and nuts but kills off a sweet tooth.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dewingedpixie View Post
I get anaphalaxis too I carry epi for latex and kiwi. My latex allergy is contact derrived, and inhaled but my lungs swell shut and my skin blisters. Kiwi they taste good but apparently they want to kill me too :/

I am not trying to be a witch with a B to you, if you're trying to cut carbs in general to be healthier this is really great. As stated most americans eat too much crap.

Its just become an extreme rubbing the wrong way spot with me lately to see GF EVERYWHERE. You have to understand as to why when it annoys me to see Dominos with a GF pizza and they state this is not for those allergic to gluten or with celiac. Then *** is the point?

I've actually had friends ask me if thats why I'm so lean and then proceed to ask how much weight they could lose on my diet. At which point my head litterally spins like the exorcist and I have to explain to them if I ate that twinkie you ate 20 minutes ago I'd loose 10 pounds and have to go to the hospital.

So I'm sorry if that rubbed you the wrong way. You just have to understand how in a case like mine the whole current movement of GF is great and healthy drives me BSN!

As to the testing it is important. I found out at 24 I had irreversible osteoporosis. I cried for about 2 days after that. At 25 I was diagnosed with a rare hybrid of AS and RA caused by celiac they call it IBD inflammatory arthritis, only mine went rogue of the IBD a situation that had NEVER been documented in a celiac before. I now have Sjogrens which lies on the same marker as the celiac. I have pancreas problems, and refractory sprue. I'm a HOT MESS. This is why it is so very important. The malnutrition and over stimulation of the immune system leads to cancers, and many other diseases. These things need to be looked at as well if you have celiac. Also if you have celiac you have to avoid all gluten in things you would never think of like make-up, shampoo, etc. We have 2 toasters in our house thats how I knew my fiance was an ultimate winner within weeks of us dating he bought a second toaster for me at his house, and replaced his cookware. We keep gluten foods in separate cabinets, or on the bottom of the pantry to not contaminate mine. We dont keep real flour, I got sick tossing old flour. Little things make a huge difference.

The biggest reason to be tested is that its genetic. I have it, my mom has it. We suspect her mother and sister have it, but they refuse to be tested. My daughter's gastro is watching her like a hawk she has the gene and though she isnt testing positive her digestive tract is in shreds currently and she's not growing. We expect to pull her from gluten in the next 6 months. As Dr Fasano (a leading celiac doctor) said "We dont find one person with celiac disease we find whole families". I was the first and now we know there are 4, the two who refuse testing admit they probably do have it they just dont want to deal with it. So this affects your family too .


Good replacements that arent carb loaded:

Put bbq on a salad. Once upon a time GF bread was basically a card board box that looked like bread. I found out that bbq is actually better on a salad this way and though the products are better now I havent gone back. (the same can be said for tuna)

Hamburgers, or in my case turkey, is better on lettuce too. Bread really soaks up all the juices. You can get this at Red Robin

Spaghetti Squash is awesome. I eat it a thousand ways.

Another good pasta swap is to use eggplant, or squash in general. Its not stringy like pasta but its filling. I'll chop this up with a sausage and throw pasta sauce on.

You can crush almonds for the crust of a cheese cake . I do this at holidays.

Lara bars are fantastic. I really like the chocolate chip cookie one. Its fruit and nuts but kills off a sweet tooth.
The reason Kiwi tries to kill you is your latex allergy. Does the same to me. Any of the tropical fruits will give people who are anaphalactic with latex grief. I love love love tropical fruits but can only tolerate them cooked. And then only in small amounts. Bananas I can do if they are still green. When they are ripe the enzymes that are similar to latex are higher. Pineapple I tolerate raw as long as I don't eat the whole thing. Hawaii was torture for me wanting all that wonderful tropical fruit and not being able to have it. Walnuts are another trigger for latex allergic people. Sometimes avacado can also trigger.

Spaghetti squash is a favorite of mine. I was in college before I knew that "real" spaghetti was not a squash. DH already eats the majority of his "sandwich" meats on romaine leaves and rolls them up like a sandwich. This was a recommendation form his endrocrineoligst who manages his diabetes.

I will have to look into the Lara bars. I need something to keep in my locker at work for those crazy days when "lunch" doesn't happen and a bar in the pocket can be eaten on the run. Most of my fellow nurses grap crap that family bring in ie: candy, donuts, pizza.

Thanks for your suggestions.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by es45 View Post
indygirl99, one thing I forgot to mention this morning was that those who follow a gluten-free diet may not get enough of :
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Fiber
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Folate

Be sure to supplement with whole foods to make certain you are getting enough of these nutrients.

You can find a safe food list here: http://www.celiac.com/

It can be stressful finding gluten-free foods, and it doesn't sound like you have to go to that extreme. I think you'll see a big improvement by just cutting out the obvious breads, cookies, crackers, and pastas.

Good luck with the running too!
Thank you for the link to the celiac site not sure why that didn't pop into my head. The safe list is a big help. I will be spending some time on that website learning.

I am really enjoying the running. Thanks
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:20 AM   #12
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Another food you might like for desserts is what I notoriously call the skinny girl pie. Tastes like pie no fattening crust.

I take a peach, nectarine, or apple (use apples you'd use in a pie apples sometimes need 1/2 teaspoon raw sugar) cut it up with the skin on. I toss it in a bowl and sprinkle apple pie seasoning on it. Sometimes I'll also toss in 4-5 raspberries bor 2 small strawberries(these get watery so no more than this). Put the bowl in the microwave and heat until the fruit is hot and soft but not mush. Let cool for 1-2 minutes and enjoy.

The skinny girl pie is really excellent for when fruit is starting to turn. You can use fruits that you'd probably be ready to toss because the sugars are higher and the heating removes the texture issues etc. Just cut the really bad spots first.

I sometimes dump this on cottage cheese too.

I'm also a huge fan of crustless pumpkin pie, but I cut the sugar :D.
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Old 03-19-2013, 01:52 PM   #13
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If you are switching to a gluten-free diet for purely heath reasons, then I would recommend that you skip most processed gluten-free foods. Usually the substitutions for gluten are almost as bad as the original. About 1% of the population has Celiac and must avoid even the smallest amount of gluten, for these g-f foods can be a real help. Another 30% may be sensitive to gluten and never know it, while serious internal damage can be resulting. So while a g-f life style is not for everyone, maybe it should be for most people. I really applaud your decision to eat more healthy foods. Simply avoiding wheat, rye, and barley as well as most processed foods will eliminate most gluten from your diet. Oats are often cross-contaminated with wheat,either grown in close proximity, or processed in the same facilities. There are however oats that are certified gluten-free. Bob's Red Mill carries these, as well as many other certified g-f foods. You also might want to look into the paleo diet, which eliminates grains (hence is gluten-free), legumes, sugar, and most processed foods (if you can't pronounce an ingredient, you probably shouldn't be eating it ). More info can be found at http://www.marksdailyapple.com/. It is quite popular with runners as well as those just trying to lose weight or increase their healthy lifestyles.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by frank430316 View Post
If you are switching to a gluten-free diet for purely heath reasons, then I would recommend that you skip most processed gluten-free foods. Usually the substitutions for gluten are almost as bad as the original. About 1% of the population has Celiac and must avoid even the smallest amount of gluten, for these g-f foods can be a real help. Another 30% may be sensitive to gluten and never know it, while serious internal damage can be resulting. So while a g-f life style is not for everyone, maybe it should be for most people. I really applaud your decision to eat more healthy foods. Simply avoiding wheat, rye, and barley as well as most processed foods will eliminate most gluten from your diet. Oats are often cross-contaminated with wheat,either grown in close proximity, or processed in the same facilities. There are however oats that are certified gluten-free. Bob's Red Mill carries these, as well as many other certified g-f foods. You also might want to look into the paleo diet, which eliminates grains (hence is gluten-free), legumes, sugar, and most processed foods (if you can't pronounce an ingredient, you probably shouldn't be eating it ). More info can be found at http://www.marksdailyapple.com/. It is quite popular with runners as well as those just trying to lose weight or increase their healthy lifestyles.
Thanks This is helpful information.
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