Gluten-free Diet

According to many Naturopaths, wheat allergy is quite common. One way to determine if gluten is causing problems is to avoid it strictly for several weeks to see if any change occurs. Another method is to have a blood sample taken and tested for gluten antibodies. While a blood test for wheat allergy could be negative, there may be reactivity to digestive by-products of wheat.

An interesting book to read on the subject of carbohydrate digestion and a diet to treat several digestive disorders is Breaking The Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet, or by its old name, The Specific Carbohydrate Diet by Elaine Gottschall, B.A., M.Sc.

A gluten-free diet means avoiding foods that contain wheat (including spelt, triticale, and kamut), rye, barley, and possibly oats or, in other words, most grain, pasta, cereal, and many processed foods. Despite these restrictions, people with celiac disease can eat a varied, well-balanced diet, including bread and pasta. Instead of wheat flour, for example, people can use potato, rice, soy, or bean flour. Gluten-free bread, pasta and other products are available from specialty food companies.

Some celiacs are able to eat oats without having a reaction but others are not. Plain meat, fish, rice, fruits, and vegetables do not contain gluten, so people with celiac disease can eat as much of these foods as they like. Examples of foods that are safe to eat and those that are not are provided below.

The gluten-free diet requires a completely new approach to eating. With practice, screening for gluten becomes second nature and people learn to recognize which foods are safe and which are not.


The following list shows examples of many foods that are allowed or avoided, but it is not a complete list. It is important to read all food ingredient lists carefully to make sure that the food does not contain gluten.

Allowed: Coffee, tea, carbonated drinks, wine made in U.S., rum, some root beer.
Avoid: Ovaltine, malted milk, ale, beer, gin, whiskey, flavored coffee, herbal tea with malted barley.

Allowed: Fresh, dry, evaporated, or condensed milk; cream; sour cream; whipping cream; yogurt.
Avoid: Malted milk, some commercial chocolate milk, some nondairy creamers.

Meat, Fish, Poultry
Allowed: Fresh meats, fish, other seafood, and poultry; fish in canned oil, brine, or water; some hot dogs and lunch meats.
Avoid: Prepared meat containing wheat, rye, oats, or barley; tuna canned in vegetable broth.

Allowed: All aged cheese, such as cheddar, Swiss, edam, parmesan; cottage cheese; cream cheese; pasteurized processed cheese; cheese spreads.
Avoid: Any cheese product containing oat gum, some veined cheeses (bleu, stilton, roquefort, gorgonzola).

Potato or Other Starch
Allowed: White and sweet potatoes, yams, hominy, rice, wild rice, gluten-free noodles, some oriental rice and bean thread noodles.
Avoid: Regular noodles, spaghetti, macaroni, most packaged rice mixes, seminola, spinach noodles, frozen potato products with wheat flour added.

Allowed: Hot cereals made from cornmeal, Cream of Rice, hominy, rice; Puffed Rice, Kellogg’s Corn Pops, cereals made without malt.
Avoid: All cereals containing wheat, rye, oats, or barley; bran; graham; wheat germ; durum; kaska; bulgar; triticale; spelt; teff; kamut. (Amaranth, millet, buckwheat and quinoa are considered gluten-free)

Allowed: Specially prepared breads using only allowed flours.
Avoid: All breads containing wheat, rye, oat, or barley flours and grains listed above.

Flours and Thickening Agents
Allowed: Arrowroot starch, corn bran, corn flour, corn germ, cornmeal, corn starch, potato flour, potato starch flour, rice bran, rice flour, rice polish, rice starch, soy flour, tapioca starch, bean and lentil flours, nut flours.
Avoid: Amaranth, wheat germ, bran, wheat starch; all flours containing wheat, rye, oats, or barley; buckwheat; spelt; quinoa; teff; kamut; millet.

Allowed: All plain, fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables; dried peas and beans; lentils; some commercially prepared vegetables.
Avoid: Creamed vegetables, vegetables canned in sauce, some canned baked beans, commercially prepared vegetables and salads.

Allowed: All fresh, frozen, canned, or dried fruits; all fruit juices; some canned pie fillings.
Avoid: Thickened or prepared fruits; some pie fillings; raisins and dried dates that have been dusted with flour.

Allowed: Butter, margarine, vegetable oil, nuts, peanut butter, hydrogenated vegetable oils, some salad dressings, mayonnaise, nonstick cooking sprays.
Avoid: Some commercial salad dressings, wheat germ oil, nondairy cream substitutes, most commercial gravies and sauces.

Allowed: Homemade broth and soups made with allowed ingredients, some commercially canned soups, specialty dry soup mixes.
Avoid: Most canned soups and soup mixes, bouillon and bouillon cubes with hydrolyzed vegetable protein.

Allowed: Cakes, quick breads, pastries, and puddings made with allowed ingredients; cornstarch, tapioca, and rice puddings; some pudding mixes; custard; ice cream with few, simple ingredients; sorbet; meringues; mousse; sherbets; frozen yogurt.
Avoid: Commercial cakes, cookies; pies made with wheat, rye, oats, or barley; millet, amaranth, buckwheat, spelt, teff, quinoa, kamut; prepared mixes; puddings; ice cream cones; Jell-O instant pudding; cream fillings; products made with brown rice syrup.

Allowed: Jelly, jam, honey, brown and white sugar, molasses, most syrups, some candy, chocolate, pure cocoa, coconut, marshmallows.
Avoid: Commercial candies dusted with wheat flour, butterscotch chips; flavored syrups; sweets containing malt/malt flavorings; some brown rice syrup; some corn syrup.

Allowed: Salt, pepper, herbs, herb extracts, food coloring, cloves, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, chili powder, tomato puree and paste, olives, active dry yeast, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, dry mustard, some condiments, apple cider, rice or wine vinegar.
Avoid: Curry powder, dry seasonings mixes, gravy extracts, meat sauces, catsup, mustard, horseradish, chip dips, most soy sauce, some distilled white vinegar, instant dry baking yeast, some cinnamon, condiments made with wheat-derived distilled vinegars, communion wafers/bread, some alcohol-based flavoring extracts.


Gluten-free Diet can help with the following


Gluten Sensitivity / Celiac Disease

The only treatment for celiac disease is to follow a gluten-free diet. For most people, following this diet will stop symptoms, heal existing intestinal damage, and prevent further damage. Improvements begin within days of starting the diet, and the small intestine is usually completely healed in 3 to 6 months. Healing may take up to 2 years for older adults.

Coconut flour is not like most other flours. It lacks the “glue” most flours have called gluten. A standard American recipe can have up to 25% of the flour made with coconut flour. However, if you would like to make something very high in fiber with an incredibly low glycemic index you will want to use 100% coconut flour. To do this we recommend you purchase the book “Cooking With Coconut Flour” by Dr. Bruce Fife. The entire book contains delicious recipes that use solely coconut fiber for the flour. These recipes use eggs for the binder or “glue” and they are very low in sugar or sweeteners. These recipes are great for diabetics, people with gluten allergies, and people with Candida and “leaky gut” issues. Coconut fiber/flour is an excellent product to use to promote healthy intestinal tract.



Crohn's Disease

See the link between Crohn’s and Sugar Avoidance / Reduction.



Gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease are a suspected cause of scleroderma and other autoimmune diseases. Even if tests for gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease are negative or inconclusive, a trial of a gluten-free and casein-free (GFCF) should be considered.


Autoimmune Tendency

Some doctors have found that a higher than normal percentage of patients with autoimmune disorders are allergic to gluten/gliadin and dairy products. Complete avoidance should be tried for at least one month to see if benefits will occur.



Some doctors recommend the complete avoidance of gluten/gliadin and dairy products when this allergy is suspected in cases of Graves’ disease or other autoimmune disease.


Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythromatosis) / Risk

A one-month trial period of avoiding dairy products and foods containing gluten/gliadin should indicate whether there is going to be any change in symptoms or lab values in individual patients. If there are improvements then these foods will need to be avoided on a permanent basis.


Chronic Thyroiditis

Some doctors recommend the complete avoidance of gluten/gliadin and dairy products when this allergy is suspected in cases of thyroiditis or other autoimmune disease.


Myasthenia Gravis

Autoimmune diseases in general have a higher prevalence of gluten intolerance. A one-month trial period of avoiding dairy products and foods containing gluten/gliadin should indicate whether there is going to be any change in symptoms or lab values in individual patients. If there are improvements then these foods will need to be avoided on a permanent basis.


Ulcerative Colitis

Lymphocytic colitis is a form of microscopic colitis usually characterized by watery diarrhea and often associated with biopsy-defined celiac disease. Two patients with lymphocytic colitis and normal small intestinal biopsies who were administered 40gm of added dietary gluten for four consecutive weeks are presented. Small intestinal biopsies from multiple sites in the proximal small bowel were done after three and four weeks to determine whether pathological changes in latent celiac disease could be induced in these patients with a high gluten-containing diet. In addition, colorectal biopsies were done to determine whether the colitis was sensitive to oral gluten. No alterations in the small intestinal biopsies were detected in either patient and no changes occurred in colitis severity. Although microscopic forms of colitis have been linked to celiac disease, this study indicates that lymphocytic colitis is a heterogeneous clinicopathological disorder that, in some patients, is independent of any gluten-induced intestinal pathological changes. [Can J Gastroenterol. 1996 Nov-Dec;10(7):436-9]


Increased Intestinal Permeability / Leaky Gut

Removal of wheat and dairy products from the diet will produce temporary relief of some of the symptoms of increased intestinal permeability. Patients suffering from this condition as well as reduced amounts of normal gut flora have high levels of antibodies to gliadin and casein.


Elevated Insulin Levels

In 3,250 Chinese women living in widely dispersed rural counties, researchers examined the relationship of various foods with a specific set of biochemical blood tests that have been shown to be commonly linked with diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and coronary heart disease, otherwise collectively known as the “insulin resistance syndrome.”

They found that the pattern of blood biochemistries of people in the northern part of China who eat a predominantly wheat- based diet resemble those in people with insulin resistance. This pattern includes higher insulin, higher triglycerides, and lower SHBG. The Chinese women in the south, on the other hand, eat a rice-based diet and have a pattern of blood values that would be considered low risk.

The differing effects of wheat and rice on SHBG and insulin may be due to the difference in amylose content, a particular kind of starch. Other researchers have found that some rice varieties have higher amylose content than wheat; some types of rice, on the other hand, have comparable levels. Several recent studies have shown that starches with higher amylose content slow down glucose absorption and thus reduce the insulin response of the meal.



Substituting rice for wheat, which generally has a lower amylose content, can raise SHBG levels via lowered insulin levels. However, starches should generally be restricted when trying to lower insulin levels.



In the 1960’s, F. Curtis Dohan MD came to believe that in regions where gluten consumption is common, the rate not only of celiac syndrome but also schizophrenia is substantially higher than in places where gluten consumption is absent.

Subsequent research, including experiments by others involving biopsies, led Dohan to conclude that people diagnosed as schizophrenic did not typically have the same reaction to gluten as people with celiac syndrome. They did not have the same type of damage to the villi of the small intestine. He eventually came to believe that a gluten-sensitive subset of schizophrenics were processing gluten and the casein in dairy foods in a way that exposed their brains to certain very potent psychoactive substances that are now known to exist in those foods.

Dohan tried removing gluten and dairy from the diets of people diagnosed as schizophrenic while they were on a locked admitting ward. They went back on a regular gluten-containing diet once they moved to the open wards. Of those on the gluten-free diet on the locked ward, 80% were on that ward and the gluten-free diet for 10 days or less.

Other people diagnosed as schizophrenic who went through the same wards were kept on a high-gluten diet while on the locked ward instead of a gluten- and dairy-free diet.

The people at the V.A. hospital who were on the gluten-free diet while on the locked ward were discharged almost twice as quickly as those who were on the high-gluten diet. “The average time until discharge for the discharged gluten-free, milk-free patients (77 days) was 55% of that of the discharged high gluten patients (139 days) .” [ Am J Psychiatry 130:6 June 1973]

An enlargement and refinement of this idea can be found in the GAPS Diet. See the book by Natasha Campbell-McBride MD calledGut and Psychology Syndrome orThe Specific Carbohydrate Diet by Elaine Gottschell, B.A.,M.Sc..


Blood Type B

Wheat products should generally be avoided by blood type B’s.




Restriction of all gluten and casein containing foods and regular exposure to sun provide additional valuable measures in healing this challenging problem. [BMJ (electronic edition) 12 July 2002]


Female Infertility

Strict adherence to a gluten-free diet has enabled many women who were previously unable to conceive to become pregnant.


Fibrocystic Breasts

In the US, flour and bread is still being supplemented with bromine. Bromine is an iodine antagonist and should be avoided in the diet, just like fluorine.


May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended



Medical practice using herbs and other various methods to produce a healthy body state by stimulating innate defenses without the use of drugs.


Hypersensitivity caused by exposure to a particular antigen (allergen), resulting in an increased reactivity to that antigen on subsequent exposure, sometimes with harmful immunologic consequences.


A type of serum protein (globulin) synthesized by white blood cells of the lymphoid type in response to an antigenic (foreign substance) stimulus. Antibodies are complex substances formed to neutralize or destroy these antigens in the blood. Antibody activity normally fights infection but can be damaging in allergies and a group of diseases that are called autoimmune diseases.


The sugars and starches in food. Sugars are called simple carbohydrates and found in such foods as fruit and table sugar. Complex carbohydrates are composed of large numbers of sugar molecules joined together, and are found in grains, legumes, and vegetables like potatoes, squash, and corn.

Celiac Disease

(Gluten sensitivity) A digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate a protein called gluten. Common symptoms include diarrhea, increased appetite, bloating, weight loss, irritability and fatigue. Gluten is found in wheat (including spelt, triticale, and kamut), rye, barley and sometimes oats.


Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules, powders, teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, teas should be made with one teaspoon herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Tinctures may be used singly or in combination as noted. The high doses of single herbs suggested may be best taken as dried extracts (in capsules), although tinctures (60 drops four times per day) and teas (4 to 6 cups per day) may also be used.


Compounds composed of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen present in the body and in foods that form complex combinations of amino acids. Protein is essential for life and is used for growth and repair. Foods that supply the body with protein include animal products, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Proteins from animal sources contain the essential amino acids. Proteins are changed to amino acids in the body.


A single-cell organism that may cause infection in the mouth, vagina, gastrointestinal tract, and any or all bodily parts. Common yeast infections include candidiasis and thrush.

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