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A gluten-free diet is one free of all wheat, barley and rye, as well as ingredients made from these grains. These ingredients and derivatives of them are present in many everyday foods, including bread, pasta, pizza, beer and soy sauce.

People diagnosed with the autoimmune condition known as celiac disease must avoid wheat, barley and rye because, in these people, the protein gluten triggers the body to attack the small intestine. As a result, nutritional deficiencies and a slew of other symptoms, including fatigue, digestive upset and skin rashes, can occur.

People with gluten sensitivity unrelated to celiac disease may also be directed to remove gluten-containing foods from their diet. In these instances, a patient experiences an adverse reaction after consuming gluten, but celiac disease is not the cause. Before deciding to remove gluten on your diet, consult your physician. While you can get all the nutrients you need on a gluten-free plan, it's important to have a proper diagnosis.

Food List

Wheat and barley may be off limits, but other grains and pseudo grains are fine for those with gluten intolerance. Quinoa, buckwheat, corn, tapioca, amaranth, wild rice, rice and teff are examples of gluten-free grains. Breads, waffles, baking mixes and sweets made with these flours are also on a gluten-free food list. Oats are naturally gluten free, but are sometimes cross-contaminated from being processed on the same equipment as wheat, so only purchase oats labeled "gluten free."

Watch for baked goods and pasta labeled "wheat free" but not "gluten free." They may still contain barley or rye, which are usually safe for those allergic to wheat to eat -- but are not acceptable for those with gluten intolerance.

All unseasoned meat, poultry, fish, tofu, nuts and seeds are gluten-free. If these have been marinated, steer clear unless labeled "gluten-free." Most dairy products are also gluten-free, including yogurt, cottage cheese, butter, milk and milk alternatives and most cheese.

Nutrition Labels

Reading labels is an essential skill when on a gluten-free diet. As of Aug. 14, 2014, any manufacturer placing a label reading "gluten-free" on its product had to comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's definition of less than 20 parts per million of gluten. Note that the use of this label is optional and, some gluten-free foods will not brandish it.

Gluten-Free Baked Goods Available at SAS

Annie's Cheddar Squares
Annie's Bunny Grahams
Charlie's Tortilla Chips
Good Natured Multi-Grain Chips
Boulder Canyon Hummus Chips

Clif Organic
Jimmy Bar
Kind bars
Luna bars
NuGo bars
That's It bars


S. Abraham and Sons, Inc., PO Box  1768, 4001 Three Mile Rd. NW, Grand Rapids, MI  49534