Celiac disease, also known as gluten intolerance, is a genetic disorder that affects at least 1 in 133 Americans. Symptoms of Celiac's are varied and can be extreme to mild, and they are often different from person to person so diagnosis can be difficult, and be performed by a doctor.
The only true treatment for Celiac disease is strict adherence to a 100% gluten-free diet for life. The diagnosis doesn't have to mean an end to eating the foods you love. There are many options out there for the gluten intolerant and as awareness and demand grows more and more will become available. The chart below maps out some of the most common and widely available gluten-free grains that make suitable substitutes.
Add amaranth to gluten-free flour blends, sauces, soups and stews (as a thickening agent). Add to significantly improve nutritional quality of foods. Amaranth is high in iron, calcium, lysine, protein, and magnesium and is lower in carbs than most other gluten free grains.
Although the name says wheat, this is not a wheat. Buckwheat is a hearty grain that is wonderful in pancake and waffle mixes or used in muffins. Buckwheat is an excellent source of minerals, dietary and soluble fiber and antioxidants.
*Although this grain is inherently gluten-free (in its purest form), oats are often contaminated with wheat during processing. If you have Celiacs, strictly purchase oats labeled as “Gluten-Free”. Oats are extremely high in dietary fiber are excellent as a breakfast food. This long burning food is beneficial for those who need to regulate blood sugar.
Polenta (as compared to other grains) is a low carbohydrate food rich in vitamin A and C making it a good source of the caroteinoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. Polenta is an extremely versatile food. Rich and creamy in meals and is excellent mixed with other gluten-free flours for breading on fried foods.
Quinoa is an excellent source of essential fatty-acids and is high in protein and beneficial minerals. Rinse quinoa before cooking. It is wonderful warm or cold. Use in meals like you would rice.
Brown and wild rice are good sources of dietary fiber and contains B vitamins, manganese, selenium and iron. Use brown and wild rice in dishes as a healthy alternative to white rice, which is refined and processed. Rice flour has become an extremely popular wheat flour alternative.
Packed with protein, calcium, and iron. Teff is an ancient and intriguing grain, tiny in size yet packed with nutrition. It is simple to prepare and similar to millet or quinoa in cooking.