What is Gluten?
Q. What is gluten exactly?
A. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, oats, barley and rye.
Q. Why can’t ASD children have gluten?
A. Research shows that people with ASD have an abnormal immune response to the protein in gluten (as well as the proteins in casein and soy.) Whether or not your child tests positive on IgE or IgG tests to gluten, it must be removed to be on the GFCFSF diet.
Celiac is a separate disease that ASD children can have as well. It is different because celiac disease can lead to malnourishment no matter how much they eat. The best test for celiac disease is a biopsy during endoscopy.
Q. What are the most common foods that contain gluten
A. The common foods are: bread, cereal, pasta, cake, donuts, flour, some alcohol, bouillon, some vinegar and sauce thickeners. It is also very common in medicines, vitamins, lotions and lip balms.
Q. Does it matter if the flour is organic?
A. No. Gluten is gluten, organic or not, and is therefore not allowed.
Q. Do oats really contain gluten?
A. Yes and no. Oats themselves do not contain gluten but are almost always grown with and/or processed with wheat, therefore are tainted with gluten. Bob’s Red Mill offers a gluten-free version of oats but it’s recommended you wait 6-12 months on the GFCFSF diet before trying them.
Q. Don’t kids need grains to be healthy?
A. No. You will have to unlearn the food pyramid you learned in school when it comes to your ASD child. What’s good for some kids, is disastrous for others. Think about diabetics – sugar is ok for most, but to a diabetic, it’s deadly.
Q. Why are prepackaged mixes almost always a no-no.
A. Sauces are commonly thickened with gluten so even a boxed rice mix, will likely contain a gluten-based thickener. Taco Bell’s meat is thickened with gluten, as are most chili and seasoning mixes. Bouillon and canned/boxed broth usually contains gluten and MSG, so check the package or make your own.
Q. What are the most common ingredients that contain gluten?
|Abyssinian hard (wheat triticum duran)
Alcohol (spirits - specific types, unless distilled)
Baking powder (verify ingredients)
Baking soda (verify ingredients)
Barley hordeum vulgare
Bleached all-purpose flour
Bouillon cubes or powder
Bulgur (bulgur wheat/nuts)
Chorizo (read label)
Coffee creamer substitute (grain based)
Durum, durum flour
Fu (dried wheat gluten )
Gravy mixes (unless homemade with cornstarch)
Ground spices (some contain gluten)
Herbs with wheat fillers
High gluten flour
High protein flour
Hydrolyzed oat starch
Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP)
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein HVP
Job's Tears (aka pearl barley)
Kamut (pasta wheat)
Modified food starch (source is either corn or wheat)
MSG (made outside USA)
Mustard powder (some contain gluten)
Oats (Oats themselves do not contain gluten, but are almost always processed with gluten)
Rice malt (contains barley or Koji)
Rice syrup (unless specified GF, it contains barley enzymes)
Sauce mixes (read labels carefully, often contain wheat)
Shoyu (soy sauce)
Sodium caseinate (contains MSG)
Soy sauce (unless specified GF)
Spelt triticum spelta
Spices with wheat fillers
Spirits (specific types, distilled is GF)
Starch (outside USA)
Stock cubes (many contain gluten)
Suet in packets
Triticale X triticosecale
Udon (wheat noodles)
Vitamins (some contain gluten)
Wheat durum triticum
Wheat triticum aestivum
Wheat triticum mononoccum
The following labeled ingredients may indicate the presence of wheat protein:
- Gelatinized starch
- Natural flavoring
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- Modified food starch
- Modified starch - check with company
- White grain vinegar
- White vinegar
Common items made from wheat flour:
All of the items listed below contain unacceptable ingredients. Most of these food items can be found without gluten, casein and soy ingredients. Check the GFCF Food list alternatives.
- NO biscuits
- NO bread
- NO bread crumbs
- NO cake flour
- NO cake & cake mixes
- NO chow mein noodles
- NO coffee creamer (all kinds)
- NO cookies
- NO cookie mixes
- NO croutons
- NO crackers
- NO doughnuts
- NO flavored prepackaged rice
- NO flavored prepackaged pasta
- NO flour tortillas
- NO flavored instant coffee
- NO flavored instant tea
- NO ice cream cones
- NO pasta
- NO pizza
- NO pretzels