A gluten free vegan diet is essential for those vegans with the allergy. You will know if you are one of these people, because eating foods with gluten will cause serious distress. Gluten and acne can be closely linked.
The diet is limiting, but it’s not hard to get creative and more options are available as the diet grows in popularity. There are even gluten free fast food options.
Gluten is the name for a protein in several kinds of grains, including wheat, barley, rye, kamut, and spelt.
Grains are suspect at best as a food source. The main consumers of grains as a staple of their diet are birds. They have a different type of digestive system than ours, so cooking grains is essential for taste as well as absorbing nutrients.
Followers of a gluten free vegan diet typically come in two different groups. The first is those who are truly allergic, which is called having celiac disease. This is a debilitating allergy which can cause malnourishment, bloating, and even development problems in young children. There is even a link between gluten and acne.
Some of the symptoms of celiac disease include…
- Stomach pain and bloating
- Diarrhea and/or constipation
- Weight loss
- Fatigue, depression, and anxiety
People who have celiac disease know something is wrong. They may end up in the hospital and struggle with not knowing what their specific disease is.
Other people may have a less severe intolerance.
While this cannot be diagnosed with blood work, some people may notice their mood, digestion, or other health indicators improve once it is removed.
It is common for people to claim that their thoughts are less foggy and everything seems to function better without it.
There may be no reason for individuals without sensitivities to eliminate the offending grains. It may be worth experimenting with gluten free vegan food to see if it makes a difference.
Common foods With Gluten:
- Bread (rolls, pretzels, cookies, pizza, etc.)
- Food that is battered and fried
- Bulgar wheat
- Most cereals
- Many veggie burgers
It’s possible to buy or make versions of many of these food items. You are only limited by your creativity when it comes to gluten free vegan meals.
The best restaurants list their gluten free fast food options on their websites, so all you have to do is power up your computer or smart phone before eating out.
Unsafe ingredients may be difficult to detect in processed foods.
Familiarize yourself with these ingredients which may cause an allergic reaction:
- Modified food starch
- Starch (Safe if manufactured in the US, but possibly not if from elsewhere)
- Natural flavors (may or may not be safe)
- Malto-dextrose (often made from barley)
- Hydrolized Vegetable/Plant Protein
- Textured Vegetable Protein
- MSG (made from wheat)
Safe foods for celiacs are flying off the shelves, and the supply is rising to meet the demand. Even so, foods are sometimes cross-contaminated, meaning they come in contact with the harmful grains in the processing plant.
Cross-contaminated foods will make most celiacs sick.
A major problem for those following a gluten free vegan diet is that food items are often mislabeled in stores. Items containing small amounts sometimes get away with being labeled gluten free. The Food and Drug Administration is quickly cracking down on this scandal.
The best option is to prepare as many meals as possible at home. Stick with whole, unprocessed foods, with ingredients that you can understand. All fruits and vegetables are safe, as are many grains, the best of which include rice and quinoa.
Always read the ingredients lists of things you buy. This is even more important as on a gluten free vegan diet, since both dietary restrictions pose major factors to consider when shopping.
Oats, which many people believe to be one of the foods with gluten, but actually are not. The cellular structure of oat proteins are similar, but studies show they do not cause a reaction unless contaminated with wheat some other way.
Oats are often processed with the same machines that process the harmful grains, but safe oats do exist.
Avoiding foods with gluten is hardly limiting considering all the culinary masterpieces that can be made from natural ingredients.
Find a few recipes so that you will always have gluten free fast food options around the house. It’s easy to cut down on costs and time by buying and cooking in bulk.
Vegan gluten free bread recipes are widely available.
The following are a few of the common grains that are good options for vegan cooking:
- Chickpeas (Garbanzos) flour
- Flours from nuts/beans/seeds
- Potato starch or flour
- Rice (and rice bran/flour)
Steer clear of foods with gluten to avoid the trap of feeling bad. It’s just not worth it, and you’ll avoid the link between gluten and acne. You may even find some gluten free fast food.