We always hear about the health benefits of consuming whole grains. All for good reason…study after study shows that people who regularly consume whole grains have lower risks of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer. Whole grains also contribute to lower cholesterol levels and a healthier weight. Thankfully, a gluten-free diet doesn’t have to mean foregoing the benefits of consuming whole grains. Here is a list of gluten-free grains you can incorporate into your diet 😀
Celiac Disease is a disease characterized as sensitivity to gluten in wheat, rye, barley and oats. People with Celiac Disease have an autoimmune response that decreases the integrity of the small intestine. The intestinal lining flattens which affects absorption. Celiac disease also affects folic acid and B12 status.
Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity where they have symptoms such as digestive issues or headaches related to consuming gluten.
Whole Grain Nutrition
Whole Grains are grains that are intact with their outer layer of bran, endosperm layer, and germ layer.
The Bran, the outer layer, fibrous and high in cellulose
- B vitamins, antioxidants, iron, zinc, magnesium and fiber
The Germ, the part that sprouts new plant
- B vitamins, vitamin E, antioxidants, unsaturated fats
The Endosperm, the bulk of the seed
- Mostly starch and some protein
Tiny, beige seed with nutty taste.
Use in porridge, salads
Brown pseudo-cereal grain with robust nutty taste
Used in Soba noodles, buckwheat flour
Cereal Grain, white neutral taste and sometimes sweet
Use in baked goods, pancakes, breads, popped
Tiny yellow grain with mild flavor
Use in breads, porridge, pilafs, soups, stews. Can also be popped
Small pseudo-cereal grain, can be white, red,or black with mild nutty taste
Use in cereal, side dishes, mix in salads, Quinoa flour: breads, crackers
Tiny quick cooking brown grain with mild flavor
Use in cereal, as flour in baked goods, breads
Rice (brown, red, black)
I’m sure you already know what those last four grains look like 😀
Gluten is in many processed foods, breads, crackers, cereals, candies, and sauces so avoiding it can be a challenge. Luckily, today you can find many products that are labeled Gluten-Free.
Note: According to the Whole Grains Council -In the U.S., the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act mandates manufactures to list the word “wheat” on labels. The thing to watch out for is the label doesn’t have to list barley, rye, spelt, kamut, or triticale which all contain gluten.