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Feeling Guilty about Gluten?

By Dr. Sapna |

There’s no denying that the term “gluten-free” has become largely popular and more of you now know either a family member or a friend that has discovered a negative link between their health and gluten.

So why is it such a big deal?

There is a stronger push for going gluten-free today as we are in a state of gluten overload and our consumption of products containing gluten are in excessive loads compared to 50 or 100 years ago, which is why we are seeing more a noticeable rise of food sensitivities and allergies to gluten containing foods.  In fact, gluten is a protein found in many grains and our consumption of this protein is not appropriately digested by the human digestive tract.

Gluten is now being linked to many chronic diseases for its increasing ability to cause intestinal permeability (IP) or leaky gut syndrome – a condition that damages our bowel lining.  IP can be further increased from toxins, parasites, and medications. When you have IP, your gut allows substances such as toxins, undigested food, waste, and other large molecules enter the gut wall causing your body to initiate an immune reaction.

There is abundant research and science that supports a causative link between gluten and many chronic conditions including inflammatory arthritis, skin rashes, chronic fatigue, chronic pain or fibromyalgia, brain fog, depression, and much more.  Now although gluten may not be the direct cause of these conditions in every instance, gluten-free diets have been proven to help restore IP, which can lead to healing your gut and help to calm down many of the symptoms related to inflammation within the body.

What is Gluten?                                                                                                                                                   

 Gluten is a type of protein found in most cereals, grains, and breads. It is contained in food processed from wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and kamut. Gluten helps bread to rise, giving it a chewy texture. Not all foods from the grain family contain gluten.

A Gluten-free diet is a diet completely free of all foods derived from these gluten grains. Unfortunately, gluten shows up unexpectedly in many processed foods that contain food additives, flavorings, stabilizers, or thickening agents.

Celiac disease is a condition where one cannot digest gluten at all. Those with celiac disease must avoid gluten-containing foods 100% of the time.

Wheat or gluten sensitivity                                                                                                                                       

Certain individuals who do not have celiac disease have been found to be sensitive to wheat or to all gluten-containing foods. Often this is the result of eating wheat or gluten foods many times daily, every day, for many years.  These sensitivities often will only improve with the removal of wheat or all gluten for a period of time. Often, wheat can be reintroduced into the diet, as long as it is eaten infrequently (once every 4-7 days). Others find that symptoms return any time they eat wheat.

 What grain foods and starches are acceptable on a gluten-free diet?                                                                                 

The following lists of allowed foods and foods to avoid will be helpful when first undertaking the task of avoiding gluten. You will be pleased to find that many foods still taste delicious!


Type of Food Food Allowed Foods to Avoid
  • Milk
  • Vegetable juice
  • Carbonated or mineral water
  • Coffee, tea
  • Postum; coffee substitutes
  • Malted milk (e.g., Ovaltine)
  • Ale, beer
  • Instant coffee if wheat flour added
  • Breads made from rice, gluten-free oats, sorghum, garbanzo bean, arrowroot, tapioca, soybean, corn, pure buckwheat, or potato flours
  • Gluten free baking mixes
  • Rice crackers and cakes



  • Wheat, rye, kamut, spelt, and barley (flours, bread, rolls, crackers)
  • Pancakes, breads, muffins, biscuits, and waffles from commercial mixes, unless stated “Gluten-free”
  • All crackers, pretzels, bread crumbs, breaded foods made from above grains
  • Amaranth, millet, or corn cereal
  • Rice/Cream of Rice, Cream of buckwheat, oatmeal, Quinoa flakes
  • Omit all made with wheat, rye, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, and wheat germ
  • Puffed corn or rice, Perky’s Nutty Rice
  • Dessert made with allowed flours
  • Commercial ice creams
  • Meringues
  • Ice cream cones
  • Rice pudding
  • Prepared puddings
  • Tapioca pudding
  • Mixes
  • Gelatin, sweetened with fruit juice
  • Fruit whips
  • Homemade puddings thickened with flour
  • Pies, pastries
  • Cakes, cookies, doughnuts
  • All
  • None
Meats, Fish, Eggs, Cheese:
  • All meats, poultry and fish prepared without breading
  • Eggs
  • cheese spreads
  • All cheese except creamed


  • Breaded meat, poultry, fish, patties, croquettes and loaves with bread crumbs
  • Canned meats, Dishes with cold cuts and frankfurters (unless guaranteed pure meat)
  • Creamed sauces, gravies, cheese spreads, spreads with wheat flour
  • White and sweet potatoes
  • Rice and bean thread noodles and pasta
  • Quinoa/corn pasta
  • Spaghetti, noodles, macaroni, dumplings made from wheat, spelt, kamut
  • Barley soup or pilaf


  • As desired
  • Any prepared with bread crumbs or cream sauces



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About The Author

Dr. Sapna is Toronto’s leading health expert on holistic healthy living and rehabilitation. Her passion for health, fitness, rehab, and nutrition has made her a leading authority on functional and integrative healthcare with highly regarded results-driven patient care. Dr. Sapna is a well known and respected Chiropractor, media personality, entrepreneur, educator, and a recognized leader in the field of injury rehab. Live inspired. Live Life!

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