Gluten-Free Vegan Diet

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The gluten-free vegan diet, besides excluding animal products, also excludes foods containing gluten. Coeliac disease is considered, worldwide, as a hidden health problem. The prevalence of coeliac disease among children and adults is about 1% in the general population, and many cases remain undiagnosed.

A gluten-free diet remains the only cure for coeliac-disease patients who must then follow it throughout life, by completely excluding foods containing wheat, barley, rye, oats and their derivatives. Patients can consume naturally gluten-free foods and their specialised gluten-free dietary products. Great attention must be given to the selection of foods to prevent even the slightest possibility of consuming gluten, as there are many products which can contain traces of it. A large number of foods are naturally gluten-free; corn, rice, chestnuts, pulses, cassava, tapioca, vegetable oils, fruits and vegetables. Besides naturally gluten-free foods, coeliac-disease patients can also consume products modified for them, from which gluten has been removed, and which come in packaging which is warning-labeled with the 'circle with a prohibited wheat ear', the sign which guarantees that gluten levels are within those permitted by the regulations prescribed by the Codex Alimentarius comission, for which Croatia is a signatory.

Some food groups may contain hidden gluten or traces of gluten. That type of food belongs to the group of “risky“ foods which may be considered as not entirely safe to consume, unless guaranteed gluten-free. These products include instant soups, vegan wieners or sausages, soy sauce, ketchup, candies and sweets, instant beverages like coffee and cocoa and similar products which may contain traces of gluten.

Deficiencies in folic acid, iron, calcium, magnesium and vitamin B12 are common in coeliac disease patients. If supplements are used, those free of gluten and its sources need to be chosen.
Enrich the diet with vegetable oils like olive oil, linseed oil, pumpkin seed oil, hemp oil and various seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, chia…), sprouts and algae.

In larger retail chains and health food stores there is a gluten-free section. Flour already prepared for bread or cake production, gluten-free pasta, pizza dough, lasagne, tortillas, breadsticks, salt sticks, soup pasta, toast, bread, sweets… are all available.

How does gluten occur in products made of gluten-free foods?

Warnings exist on many product labels about possible gluten contamination. If, while transported in dryers, wheat, rye, barley and, for example, corn are stored together, wheat is then left and mixed with corn. Contamination can occur by grinding grains in a mill used for grinding wheat or barley, by bread and pasta production by the same tools used with gluten flour and by selling foods in bulk bins.

Classic food product Gluten-free alternative
Wheat flour bread Gluten-free bread
Wheat pasta Rice, buckwheat or corn pasta
Oat flakes Rice, soy, corn flakes
Bread crumbs Gluten-free bread crumbs
Crackers Millet or rice crackers
Pizza dough, tortillas, lasagne Gluten-free pizza dough, piadina, lasagne
Wheat flour Gluten-free flour
Wheat semolina Rice or corn semolina
Couscous, bulgur Quinoa, amaranth, millet
Soup pasta Gluten-free soup pasta

Grains and foods rich in starch
corn, rice, millet, buckwheat, amaranth, teff, carob flour, quinoa, tapioca, cassava, potato, chestnuts, arrowroot powder wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, kamut and their derivatives (couscous, bulgur…) and brans, müesli and breakfast flakes, croquettes, fritters made of above-mentioned grains, pasta, sweet or salty baked products (bread, cakes, pizza, cookies etc.), seitan
all kinds of fruit without forbidden ingredients added, all kinds of nuts, fruit syrups, compotes, jams tempura fruit
all kinds of vegetables, canned vegetables, legumes: chickpeas, peas, beans, broad beans, lentils, soy and their derivatives vegetables with grains, breaded vegetables or vegetables baked in flour, frozen vegetables (fried potatoes or mushrooms) containing wheat and/or its derivatives, brown flour
Milk and dairy products substitutes
soy, buckwheat, rice drink, soy or rice yogurt, soy or rice cooking cream oat drink, oat cooking cream, malted, grain yogurt or yogurt with cookies
coffee, herbal tea, fruit juice and nectar beer, instant coffee or coffee substitutes containing barley or barley malt
Sweeteners and sweets
sugar, fructose, dextrose, glucose syrup, stevia store-bought cakes, wheat, rye, barley or oats strudel, instant gelatin pudding, wheat flour covered sweets, chocolate with cereals or cookies
popcorn, rice crackers, gluten-free salt sticks salt sticks, flips
salt, pepper, herbs, wine vinegar, white vinegar, lemon industrial foods: curry powder, various sauces, ketchup, pudding, custards

Product Gluten-free Hidden gluten
soy sauce tamari shoyu
tofu raw tofu soy sauce marinated tofu
vegan burgers, weiners, salami, sausages certain kinds can be gluten-free, it is best to check with the manufacturers most of these products contain wheat proteins or soy sauce
tempeh traditional tempeh made of soy beans, rice and starter culture tempeh made of several cereals, including wheat or barley and/or with added soy sauce
miso paste rice miso miso containing wheat, barley or oats
baking powder baking powder labelled as gluten-free non-labelled baking powder

Breakfast ideas:

Rice crackers with chickpea spread
Sandwich: gluten-free bread, smoked tofu, lettuce, vegan mayonnaise (e.g. Omegol)
Rice flakes with rice drink (calcium enriched) with (if desired) added nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts), seeds (flax seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds…), coconut, cinnamon…

Lunch ideas:

Lentil stew, salad
Tempeh medallions in porcini mushroom sauce, pumpkin croquettes, salad
Quinoa and bean burgers, cooked vegetables, salad

Snack ideas:

Soy yogurt + strawberries
Fruit salad with almonds

Dinner ideas:

Vegan gluten-free tortilla, salad
Pumpkin and potato stuffed peppers
Vegetable fritters with soy yogurt dip

Written by Ivana Simic, master of nutrition

Related Topics

Fruits and Vegetables



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