Is anyone on a Gluten Free diet?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Buzz, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    Someone surgested I try and I'm wondering how difficult it is to stay true too. Because I do love myself a good slice of toast or ketchup on fried chicken. LOL
     
  2. Veronika

    Veronika gold dust woman

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    It's really only for people who are allergic to wheat--celiac disease. It's not for weight loss.
     
  3. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

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    Buzz, why? I tried it to try and find a trigger for reflux, and found it incredibly difficult and very expensive. Plus I just didn't like the wheat-free versions of things :lol:
     
  4. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    Gluten-free diets aren't for weight loss. They are for people who are celiacs or are gluten intolerant. I'm gluten intolerant. Especially once I got used to knowing what I could and could not eat and where to find good gluten-free food, it wasn't that difficult. Of course, at the time I started, I had suffered through eight months of hives and a very unhappy digestive system. Feeling better is a very good incentive to stay gluten-free. What I miss most is good pizza.
     
  5. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    I've considered giving it a try because I have constant stomach issues and am curious if gluten may be a trigger. I just don't have the will power to even learn how to begin and I can't afford all the specialty items I will need. Maybe one day in the future when I get settled in a good job and I've finally had enough with digestive issues.
     
  6. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, it doesn't have to cost you a lot of money unless you insist on eating all these specialty muffins, cookies, etc. I splurge on some of the better gluten-free pasta and bread, but I eat less take-out and prepared foods, which offsets the costs.
     
  7. Jayar

    Jayar Well-Known Member

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    I have come to the conclusion that I must start over with my diet. I have to pull everything out, eat only basics, and figure out what is causing my bloating and misery. I have felt horrible for more than I care to discuss, and I am starting to think that gluten is the culprit. I'm going to talk with my doctor about it next time I see him. Anybody have any insite?
     
  8. ArtisticFan

    ArtisticFan Well-Known Member

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    I have celiac and have never felt better since going gluten free. However, I would never say it was easy. Gluten is in so many things that we never expect so there are set backs. Going out to eat is a pain and dealing with family/work dinners is even worse.

    People liken it to low carb diets, but honestly it is 10X harder than that.
     
  9. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    Bob's Red Mill has many gluten-free products/ingredients. I know I would have a tough time giving up bread & other baked goods.
     
  10. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    This! Get thee to the MD and have him make recommendations to a good gastroenterologist. It took me a long time to find a good gastro man, but when I did he made a world of difference in my digestive health. He zeroed in on the problem after listening carefully to all my symptoms and complaints, and it wasn't gluten intolerance as I had so blithely assumed. It was something else entirely.

    In my experience, self-diagnosing digestive problems just doesn't cut it. Get to an expert.
     
  11. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I think a good place to start for both of you is a food journal. Write down what you eat and how you feel afterwards. If you want to see a gastroenterologist later, you'll have that to go on. If you can't to go a specialist or a doctor, at least will help you keep track!

    I started one when I wasn't feeling better after a bout of stomach flu. To be safe I also started an IBS diet (ironically, lots of bread for fiber but no fat/oils or raw veggies) and that helped some. Eventually my system got better on its own, but it took over a year and I still can't have coffee or large amounts of chocolate.

    For what it's worth, I brought up celiac to my doctor and he said since I didn't feel particularly worse when I ate bread or oatmeal, that was not likely.

    Good luck! Digestive issues are the WORST! I felt like I could barely function feeling so nauseous/bloated all the time!
     
  12. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    Have you ruled out lactose intolerance because this also sounds like it could be a dairy issue.

    I have no idea if I am officially gluten intolerant but I feel 1,000 times better when I don’t eat gluten foods. It's not just my stomach but also my mood. I find it isn’t THAT hard to follow as I can have rice as my filler. (I have rice with a bit of butter and cinnamon for breakfast.) The hard part is making the time to cook – I think cooking is the only way to do this type of diet “on the cheap”. Most of the gluten products are the convenience foods and there is no broccoli option in the vending machines.
     
  13. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    It is possible to have an acid reflux problem and not even be aware of it. Have you ruled that out? I ask because coffee (read caffeine) and chocolate are two of the must avoid items if you have a reflux problem. I can't eat chocolate very much any more; I feel terrible the next day if I've overindulged and it's all due to acid reflux.
     
  14. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    The food journal is great advice and it makes the job of an allergist or gastoenteroligist easier, allowing them more information to pinpoint your problem.

    I know several people who were diagnosed with Celiac and are on gluten-free diets. None of them had bloating or discomfort. Celiac disrupted their immune system, causing nutrition loss. One person lost a ton of weight in a short time and started to experience symptoms of starvation, including some cognitive issues. He was an adult, too, and the diagnosis took a long time. He's doing really well now on a gluten-free diet, but it's a difficult dietary change.

    It's tough to manage - you have to plan every meal as if you were dieting. Eating out is tricky because you have to know how things are prepared and not every restaurant has gluten-free options, just like people with food allergies. One of my friends likens her house to keeping Kosher because they went totally gluten-free to prevent cross-contamination. (For example: make a peanut butter sandwich on regular bread, dip the knife into the jar between swipes and you've introduced gluten into the jar.)

    Several of my doctor friends were saying that a lot of people have mistaken "gluten free" for "healthy option." They're DIY'ing their gluten-free management and screwing up their health because they aren't getting proper nutrition.

    I was talking to someone who has a family member that was diagnosed with Celiac as an adult. They find it disturbing and insulting that people taking a real dietary need and using it as a fad diet. Their concern is that gluten-free products will stop being manufactured when the next fad diet comes along and the "cool" interest wanes. People who really need these products won't be able to find them easily if that happens. More importantly, it makes a serious disease seem more trivial.

    Just my 2ยข.

    There are gluten-free products, but stick to name-brands because there have been fraudulent misrepresentations among smaller places. There is a lawsuit pending against a flour vendor who sold "gluten free flour" that contained gluten. It may have been cross-contamination from other items in the mill or he may have just lied to charge a higher price.

    I asked at Whole Foods if they had gluten-free options at their bakery counter and the answer was no. They also don't have ALL-ORGANIC baked goods at the counter, yet many people mistakenly assume that everything's organic because it's Whole Foods. If in doubt ask, and if the counter clerk doesn't seem to know, don't buy it.

    Rice and oatmeal are options, but read labels carefully. Betty Crocker makes packaged mixes for bread, cakes and brownies that are gluten-free. You can get them at the regular supermarket. Lentils are fine; barley is not, nor is rye. Rice cakes and chips are usually gluten-free, but corn chips probably contain some wheat/gluten.
     
  15. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    The gastroenterologist did suggest that, but it was RIGHT after I had a colonoscopy that didn't find anything amiss so I wasn't really up for any more tests. :lol: If I had been feeling very uncomfortable, I would bring it up, but it isn't a very big deal anymore, just a little discomfort after coffee especially. I don't have either very often (and chocolate is okay in small amounts), which is probably better for my overall health. :p
     
  16. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    You do have to be careful with corn chips and corn tortillas because a lot of them have wheat, but you can find some gluten-free ones. (And for those eating out, I've been told that Chipotle's corn tortillas are gluten free. The wheat ones obviously are not.)

    A couple of points with oatmeal. First, a lot of oatmeal is stored in places that have contained wheat in the past, so there is a real danger of contamination. (There are some brands, like McCann's I think, that have dedicated oatmeal storage facilities.) A lot of celiacs are highly sensitive to gluten, so even a small quantity can be a problem. (I'm fortunate that I'm not that sensitive to gluten, so a little contamination isn't going to hurt me.) Also, the protein in oatmeal is fairly similar to gluten, so some people who have problems with wheat gluten also have problems with oatmeal. I get a rash from oatmeal.

    Also, gas and bloating might not be a symptom of all celiacs, but lots of people who are gluten intolerant (which is not the same as celiac) do have problems with gas and reflux and constipation as a result of eating gluten.
     
  17. Andrushka

    Andrushka New Member

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    I and my kids are wheat free and milk free(except my youngest who can tolerate milk but not lactose).It's not that hard to do,it can be expensive as someone mentioned if you go out and buy all the fancy stuff.Or you can just learn to make things yourself.Luckily bisquick and betty crocker now have gluten free mixes that are a bit cheaper than some of the other ones out there. But you have to watch the "processed in a facility that processes wheat etc...."If you are extremely sensitive to it,it can trigger a reaction.And you have recheck the labels of stuff you have been eating a long time because sometimes they change the way it is processed or the ingredients.
     
  18. ArtisticFan

    ArtisticFan Well-Known Member

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    Be very careful about oatmeal. Most celiacs and gluten intolerant people I know from the support group I'm in have horrible reactions to oats of any kind. That is how the doctors found my celiac to start.

    Plain chips are easier to find gluten free varieties. If you like flavored ones, read the packaging carefully. Almost any with the word "modified" in any of the ingredients is a no go- such as modified corn starch.

    Outback does have a gluten free menu. However, wait staff are not always up to date on that. I ordered from it the other day and the waitress came back to ask me which type of bread I wanted on it. I told her I ordered the gluten free meal so there was no bread. She then told me that everything there comes with bread. I had to explain to her what gluten free meant and that I can't even have food that comes into contact with bread or anything of the sort. She rolled her eyes and told me that I could just take it off if I didn't want to eat it. Needless to say my group left and went some place else to eat.

    Another thing to watch can be lunch meats or even hamburger meat. So many of them use fillers that it can be hard.

    Giving up bread, pasta, etc. was difficult, but that is the easy part of it all. It is the hidden stuff that gets me. I find myself cooking more these days and not relying on going out or eating pre-packaged meals.
     
  19. Andrushka

    Andrushka New Member

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    About eating gluten free at restaurants,double check if it's something fried(french fries etc...) check and make sure it's not fried in the frier with the other stuff.Because at On The Border,one of the things I used to eat alot that was made out of corn tortillas,they started frying it in with the wheat tortillas.For those who are very sensitive,the cross contamination can be serious.Burger King fries the french fries with the onion rings.McDonalds last I checked,does not.Check the salads even if you ask for no croutons. Back Yard Burger does low-carb options on their burgers and chicken sandwhiches(wrapped in lettuce). The Rainforest Cafe has a very nice gluten free menu. And Whole Foods has sushi specifically labeled"Gluten free".
     
  20. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    With French fries, it's not just a question of what they are fried in or where. Fries that come in bulk from a processing plant, in other words not made from scratch on the premises, very likely have gluten in them as part of the manufacturing process. This list of 'to avoid' foods that my doctor gave me when we thought I might be gluten intolerant included French fries.

    Gluten really is in a lot more things than we think. You can't even use regular soy sauce; you have to go looking for the special gluten-free one.
     
  21. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    My friend brings a bottle of La Choy soy sauce with her whenever she goes out for sushi. (The fake krab in California rolls also has gluten.) It's really a shame that most other soy sauce has gluten because it makes it much harder to eat out. Fortunately, La Choy is in a lot of grocery stores.
     
  22. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

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    I've learned so much about hidden sources of gluten as a result of meeting people on gluten-free diets. Soy sauce - who'd have thought that? One of my friends explained it to me when I asked why a brownie mix called for "gluten-free vanilla." Turns out that some brands use wheat during fermentation or as a thickener.

    Restaurants I know my friends go to frequently are: Wendy's, offering baked potatoes and salads. PF Chang's is very accomodating and has a lot of menu options. A diner is also a good option, you can order eggs without breads or toast. Just ask if they can cook the food separately because some places use one grill for everything, so you again have to worry about contamination. Fondue restaurants are pretty good, but you have to ask for gluten-free options. The chain places have a few choices.
     
  23. Andrushka

    Andrushka New Member

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    You have to watch for gluten in candy as well(I found this out shopping for holiday candy for my kids).All of the Willy Wonka brand candy is processed in a facility that also processes wheat.Twizzlers have wheat in them.Alot of candies and even chocolates have wheat in them.I have fun every holiday when they bring treat bags home from parties...I have to weed out all the "bad" candy before they get into it. The point being,if you are wheat free,you have to read,every-thing.
     
  24. Andrushka

    Andrushka New Member

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    You are right about that.Thus far we haven't encountered any problems with the fries at McDonalds or Wendy's, however the ones at Sonic and Burger King are off limits(most of these places have a website with ingredients being listed under "nutritional facts"( it will also make you think twice about eating at certain restaurants and having that hashbrown with the big breakfast lol...sodium content through the freakin roof).But with french fries,you are entirely right,all you have to do is go down through the freezer section at a store and check the ingredient list on alot of frozen french fries,even the "gourmet" types.Thus far,Ore Ida and a specific gluten free brand I get at Whole Foods are the only ones I've found without wheat as an additive or processed with it.

    That reminds me,check the labels on store brand foods...one very large chain store I will not name,almost ALL of their store brand foods are processed with wheat.
     
  25. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Why won't you name them?
     
  26. Andrushka

    Andrushka New Member

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    Possibly because someone I'm related to works for them and it would be in bad taste.
     
  27. Andrushka

    Andrushka New Member

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    they used to have a smiley face in their logo :)
     
  28. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I think most of the major chains use wheat in the majority of their store brand foods. Processed foods in general often have wheat.
     
  29. Andrushka

    Andrushka New Member

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    I have found a few that don't,we do buy the 365 canned green beans and other veg with no added salt from Whole Foods,but I generally try to avoid processed food as much as possible.
     
  30. Katoomba

    Katoomba Member

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    Actually, McDonalds fries have gluten in them. I found this out the hard way about six months ago. The natural beef flavoring contains wheat, and that info is available on their website.

    Agree with everyone else who has said not to try a gluten free diet if it's not medically necessary.