Will Going Gluten-Free Help Other Food Allergies?

I’ve been reading a lot about gluten – about how the wheat we consume now is different from the wheat even 30-40 years ago.  About how children with ADHD and autism spectrum disorders have improved when gluten was removed from their diets.  And especially about how gluten can cause gut inflammation even in people who don’t have celiac disease, and can exacerbate people’s eczema, asthma and other food allergies.

There isn’t a lot of peer-reviewed research out there on this topic, and I take it with a giant grain of salt.  Especially because this theory seems to be championed by the same people who think vaccines are poison.  But there doesn’t seem to be a downside in giving it a try.

I don’t think my family can go cold-turkey with this.  First, because I’m still not 100% clear on all the different things gluten appears in.  Yup, I’m ignorant, but at least I know I’m ignorant.  I have to do a lot more research on this.  Second, there are so many foods and dishes the WB can’t eat, that I’m nervous about cutting even more stuff out.  She needs calories.  This experiment can’t interfere with her nutritional needs.  And third, this is going to be tough!  It’s not like with her allergies, where we just avoid certain ingredients.  Finding substitutes for gluten seems much harder than substitutes for dairy, even in baking.

So I ordered a few cookbooks to help me navigate this little experiment.

The first book is The Complete Allergy-Free Comfort Foods Cookbook: Every Recipe Is Free of Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Nuts, and Eggs I like that the recipes are also dairy, soy and nut-free.  It includes recipes that are similar to the types of meals we already eat.  I’ve only flipped through it, but I find the book approachable.  I think this is where I’ll start.

The second book is The Healthy Gluten-Free Life: 200 Delicious Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free and Egg-Free Recipes!   This one is also dairy and soy-free.  There’s a large section regarding substitutions, although to be honest, I’m already intimidated by the number of different sources and how you mix them for different textures.  I’m definitely not ready to try baking anything yet. I think I’ll save this book for when I’m more comfortable with this type of cooking.

And the last book is Special Diets for Special Kids, Volumes 1 and 2 Combined: Over 200 REVISED and NEW gluten-free casein-free recipes, plus research on the positive … ADHD, allergies, celiac disease, and more! Honestly, I barely flipped through this one.  I’m both intrigued and skeptical about the premise.  It comes with a DVD or CDROM or something which is an interesting throw-back.

I’ll post my results when I start testing out these recipes.  But in the meantime, if you have any experiences with these books, good or bad, please comment!


Image courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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