Our expert says:
Before you embark on a gluten-free diet which is very difficult, I would recommend that you consult a medical dr and ask him/her to send you for the relevant tests to determine if you do suffer from gluten intolerance or coeliac disease. Patients who suffer from coeliac disease need to avoid ALL foods and beverages that contain any of the following cereals: wheat, rye, oats, barley, spelt, kamut, titricale. Now while the latter 2 cereals are not used frequently in modern food processing, the first 5 are used in practically every processed food you can imagine (just check the list of ingredients on each food in the supermarket). The only cereals that are gluten-free are rice (brown and white), maize (maize meal and maize grits), sorghum (sorghum grits and Maltabella) and quinoa. To read more about food allergies, click on 'Diet and Nutrition' at the top of this page and then on 'Allergy & Intolerance'. You can also contact the Allergy Association by visiting their Website at: www.allallergy.net to find out more about allergies. The Allergy Association Website lists the foods that you need to avoid if you have a specific allergy. If you are tested and do have coeliac disease then it is advisable to consult a a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), who will guide you through the intricacies of a gluten-free diet and ensure that you do not develop deficiencies if you have to avoid all the cereals listed above and all the foods/drinks that contain them.
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