A Wheat Free Diet? or a Gluten Free Diet?

Many people associate a gluten free diet with a wheat free diet, yet these two diets are actually quite different. Yes it’s true that in order to follow a gluten free diet, you have to also follow a wheat free diet, since wheat has gluten in it, however, there are lots of other things that have gluten in them besides just wheat.

So what else has gluten in it? The list is never ending since gluten can be in a lot of things, but some of the common things that many people don’t consider include:

canned soups
some skin care
candy bars

There are also gluten free versions of most of these things. Couscous and barley are not and cannot be gluten free but the rest exist as gluten free versions.

That said, should you follow a gluten free diet? or a wheat free diet? This can be a tough question since many people are allergic to wheat but not necessarily to gluten. Personally I’m allergic to wheat and not necessarily to gluten however, I do my best to avoid gluten when possible since I think from my own experiences and from the experiences of others that it’s not really healthy for you. However, as long as you are not celiac or allergic to gluten you can start by eating a wheat free diet. For many people this is easier and then you can over time adapt to gluten free too.

What questions do you have about eating gluten free, or wheat free?

A Guide to the Gluten Free Lifestyle

If you’re curious to know my personal strategies that have already helped thousands of people improve their health and live a gluten free lifestyle easily and at a lower cost, click here to learn more.

Experts Claim Autistic Children may benefit from a Gluten-Free Diet

Recent research has suggested that a gluten and casein-free diet can result in behavioural and physiological improvements for children with autism spectrum disorder.

The research, carried out by Penn State College of Medicine, discovered that autistic children with gastrointestinal symptoms experienced an improvement in behaviour when following a gluten and casein-free diet (casein being the protein found in milk and other such dairy products).
Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder were asked about their child’s gastrointestinal symptoms, food allergies and diet.

It was discovered that children with autism spectrum disorder who follow a gluten and casein-free diet had notably improved gastrointestinal symptoms. Other behavioural symptoms also seemed to show improvement when compared to children whose gluten and casein intake was not depleted.

The experts suggest that gluten and casein-derived peptides cause an immune response in children with ASD, with others proposing that the peptides could very well trigger gastrointestinal symptoms and behavioural problems.

Parents who only implement this diet on their child for 6 months less, however, will find that the diet is less beneficial. This will also apply to parents who only eliminate either gluten or casein from their child’s diet and not both.

It is also possible that there are other proteins, such as soy, that are problematic for children with autism spectrum disorder.

Despite these positive findings, researchers admitted that more research needed to be done. Whilst some individuals and parents of children with autism report benefits from following special diets such as these, caution should still be exercised as there has not been enough scientific research investigating the link between autism and food intolerances, with benefits ranging from individual to individual.

Parents should exercise caution when thinking about changing their autistic child’s diet, asking themselves whether the invention is for the symptoms or actually providing their child with a better quality of life.

Casein-free foods consist of the milk protein casein being removed from dairy products, whilst gluten-free foods contain no wheat, barley, rye, oats or other such food products made from grains.
In children with gastrointestinal problems, ‘casomorphines’ can reduce the desire for social ineractions, block pain messages and encourage confusion. Milk proteins can be a key source of these casomoprhines, The idea is that by eliminating them, autism spectrum disorder may improve as a result.

Written by Dane Cross on behalf of Autism Care UK.

Need more detailed help? Check out my Healthy Eating for Children with Autism Online Course

Questions and Answers about Living Gluten Free

Living gluten free can be challenging at times and it can also be confusing. Here are some of the questions people ask the most about living gluten free and my answers.

1. Does living gluten free mean that I just need to avoid wheat?

Actually living gluten free is much more than that. Wheat is one of the main grains that has gluten in it, but gluten is also in barley and some other grains as well as in some cosmetics and other places where you wouldn’t necessarily expect to find it.

2. Who can benefit from living gluten free?

Most people can gain some benefit from it, although it’s not wise to just start living gluten free for no reason. If your body can handle wheat and gluten then you should probably still eat some in moderation.

3. Why should anyone consider living gluten free?

First, some people are what is called celliacs and they have to or they could die young or suffer serious health consequences. Second, it can help people with allergies as many have allergies and or intolerances to wheat and gluten. (This is me.) Third, it can help people lose weight if they are struggling with this.

4. Is it hard to live gluten free?

It can be. It depends on your habits and tastes. If you love bread then you will need to buy gluten free bread or learn to make it and it costs more than regular bread and is not as readily available. However, if you can learn to live without bread, cookies, pastries etc, then you will adjust easier.

5. Do you need to live gluten free forever?

It depends on the person. Some people can benefit by living gluten free for a few months or even a year and then they can have some gluten from time to time after that.

6. Will living gluten free solve all of my health problems?

no. In most cases you will still need supplements, essential oils, and other changes to your diet or lifestyle in order to really have the best health you can have.

Other questions? Comments?

A Guide to the Gluten Free Lifestyle

If you’re curious to know my personal strategies that have already helped thousands of people improve their health and live a gluten free lifestyle easily and at a lower cost, click here to learn more.