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9 Gluten Free Pasta Recipes You'll Love

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What is Gluten Free?

By: Amy Finn, Editor,

GlutenGluten is a protien that is found in wheat. In order to follow a gluten free diet, a person should avoid all wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye, and oats that have been contaminated by wheat through processing. Gluten is also found wheat products and by-products, and those foods that are made with wheat. In it's simplest definition, "gluten-free" means "wheat-free."

DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor or a dietician. This article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be used as diet guide. If you are considering changing your diet, talk to a doctor before doing so.

There are many reasons as to why a person would avoid gluten. The number one reason would be Celiac Disease. This disease causes damage to the small intestine that prevents vital nutrients from food from being absorbed. This reaction is caused when someone with Celiac Disease eats food like bread or cake that is not gluten-free. Maintaining a gluten-free diet is the only known treatment for Celiac Disease. Another reason that someone would avoid gluten is due to gluten intolerance, which is very similar in it's symptoms but to a lesser degree than Celiac Disease. Finally, gluten-free has become a popular diet for many people who wish to eat healthier and live healthier lifestyles.

Gluten is a binding agent that holds dough made with flour together. In order to bake wheat free goods, you have to find another binding agent to hold the dough together, which is what many gluten free flour mixes, such as Bob's Red Mill, has done. Xanthum gum and arrowroot powder have been found to create similar consistency in dough that gluten does.

According to the, here is a list food that are OK to eat on a gluten-free diet:

  • Beans, seeds, nuts in their natural, unprocessed form
  • Fresh eggs
  • Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Most dairy products

Many grains and starches can be part of a gluten-free diet:

  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn and cornmeal
  • Flax
  • Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
  • Hominy (corn)
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Sorghum
  • Soy
  • Tapioca
  • Teff

You should always avoid:

  • Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley)
  • Rye
  • Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
  • Wheat
  • Bulgur
  • Durum flour
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Kamut
  • Semolina
  • Spelt

There are many companies who are now offering gluten free versions of their products, but be careful when buying any of these. They should be labled gluten-free:

  • 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
  • Oats

Whenever you think of changing your diet, you should consult a doctor or dietician. By avoiding gluten, you risk the chance that you will not get enough vital nutrients and minerals such as iron, calcium, fiber, folate, and riboflavin.



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