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Gluten Intolerance and Gluten Sensitivity

I grew up on spaghetti and fresh baked bread. So many fond memories are tied up in these foods. As I got married and my family began to grow, we ate a lot of pasta dishes and made tons and tons of fresh baked whole wheat bread. I loved to have my kids come in the house to the smell of fresh baked bread. We would sit at the table, slice the warm loaf and smother it with butter and honey. It was delicious.
Gradually, I began noticing that my inflammation was worse after such delicious indulgences. I went in to total denial. I loved my whole wheat pancakes, breads, oatmeal cereal, and pasta.  Finally I had to accept the fact that I am gluten sensitive….totally NOT fun.

So, what exactly is gluten?

Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye, and most oats.  Gluten refers to the proteins gliadin and glutenin and starch. These are found in the endosperm of the grain.  These are what give dough elasticity. The key to a lovely loaf of bread is kneading the dough until it is elastic.

Gluten Sensitivity can be detected when an improvement in these conditions is seen once gluten is removed from the diet:
·         Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
·         Neuropathy
·         Autoimmune disease
·         Inflammation

Best way to determine if a person has Gluten Sensitivity is to go gluten-free for 2-3 months and then slowly add gluten back into their diet one grain at a time. Start with wheat.

Gluten Intolerance also known as Celiac Disease is the most extreme type of gluten sensitivity.  It affects 1 in 100 people in USA. Which means about 3 million people in the USA have gluten-intolerance. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease – where the body attacks the small intestine. There are literally 100’s of symptoms. The best way to determine if you have Celiac Disease is to get tested. Celiac can be tested by blood and confirmed with a biopsy.

Most ‘whole foods’ are naturally gluten-free:
◦Most dairy
◦Fish, poultry, meat

Cautions: Pre-packaged gluten-free foods often are less healthy – always read the ingredients.  Just because it says ‘gluten-free’ doesn’t mean it’s healthy. When looking for gluten-free pastas, cereals, chips, and pancakes recipes, I’ve had to do quite a bit of searching and taste testing to find gluten-free products that satisfy my love of grains. HERE is my current list of favorites.  Although this isn’t a complete list of all the products available, it does contain some of the products I’ve tested and found having good flavor. 

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with Tinkyada Gluten-Free Brown Rice Pastas.  Finding a good gluten-free pasta that doesn’t contain corn  has been difficult to locate. (I’ve found my body doesn’t like corn very much.) Tinkyada has been the best corn and gluten-free pasta I’ve found so far. Last night I finally created a tomato and pasta recipe that my family and I love. Rice pasta has a different taste, but I found when I cook the pasta directly in blended fresh tomatoes and add Seitenbacher Vegetarian Vegetable Broth and Seasoning and diced onions, the flavor is delicious. (Recipe to come later.)

Grain is the ‘Staff of Life’ and in the Mormon Religion, we have been given the Word of Wisdom ( a law of health) which says that , 
All grain is good for the afood of man; as also the bfruit of the vine; that which yieldeth fruit, whether in the ground or above the ground—Nevertheless, wheat for man, and corn for the ox, and oats for the horse, and rye for the fowls and for swine, and for all beasts of the field, and barley for all useful animals, and for mild drinks, as also other grain. (Doctrine and Covenants 89:16-17)

Due to the rise in pesticides, and GMO’s I appreciate this statement made by Elder Bruce R McConkie “If some particular food disagrees with an individual, then that person should act accordingly without reference to the prohibitions in this particular law of health.” [Bruce R. McConkie, "Word of Wisdom," in Mormon Doctrine, 2nd edition, (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 845–846]

If a person can find pure whole grains, I feel that a lot of the gluten problems people are having could be eliminated. -Does this spark an idea?

Interesting FACT: Italian studies show the possibility of positive effects in reversing Autism by taking out gluten and dairy.

Do you have any delicious gluten-free recipes? I'd love to hear about them!

Gluten Free Recipe Sites:
Gluten Free Girl |

Gluten Free Easily |

Gluten Free for Good |

Gluten Free Goddess |

For Further Information:

National Institutes of Health |

Gluten Intolerance Group |

University of Chicago Disease Center |

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