Gluten-free doesn't have to mean grain-free

Relatively few grains – wheat, barley, rye and a wheat/rye hybrid called triticale – actually contain the type of protein that is indigestible for people with celiac disease and psoriasis.

Celiac disease is a hereditary digestive condition that damages the small intestine and interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food because of gluten sensitivity.

Lona Sandon, assistant professor of clinical nutrition at UT Southwestern Medical Center and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, says wheat usage may be widespread, but so are many other gluten-free grains including rice, corn and wild rice.

“Buckwheat, amaranth, sorghum and quinoa are also gluten-free,” she says. “Oats are another option, but they’re often processed alongside wheat so people should look for gluten-free oats.”

Ms. Sandon says the key in limiting or eliminating gluten from dietary choices is for people to try the numerous options available where natural or healthy-choice foods are offered.

Visit www.utsouthwestern.org/nutrition to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services for nutrition.

Media Contact: Kristen Holland Shear

Return to March 2010 News Tips

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