Gluten Free Diet: What Foods You Can & Can't Eat

Gluten-free, casein-free (GFCF) diet has been shown to be helpful for individuals with allergies to these particular foods and specifically in the management of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Proteins found in grain and dairy products, known as gluten and casein respectively, are believed to be poorly broken down in the digestive tracts in some people. Undigested proteins can be absorbed intact into blood circulation. These proteins can affect the brain by crossing the blood-brain barrier and binding to opioid receptors. It can affect mood, concentration, mental performance as a freelance creative copywriter and pain tolerance (i.e. in autistic children this will increase their pain threshold). Below is a list of foods containing gluten and casein that are suggested to avoid, plus a list of alternative GFCF choices.

Foods Recommended And Foods To Avoid If On A Gluten Free, Casein Free Diet

GRAINS AND LEGUMES

RECOMMENDED

  • Amaranth

  • Basmati Rice

  • Beans

  • Brown Rice

  • Buckwheat

  • Chickpea

  • Lentils

  • Millet

  • Pea

  • Quinoa

  • Wild Rice

  • Flour: any flour made from the above sources

AVOID

  • Baked Beans unless gluten-free

  • Flours: Wheat flour, wholemeal flour, bakers flour, semolina, barley, rye(avoid battered or crumbed food)

  • Wheat including durum, semolina, triticale, rye, barley, bulgur, couscous and oats

PASTA

RECOMMENDED

  • Buckwheat noodles

  • Rice noodles

  • Vegetable, corn, spinach or quinoa pasta

AVOID

  • Durum wheat pasta (spaghetti, macaroni etc.)

  • Egg noodles

  • Hokkein noodles

  • Barley pasta

  • Spelt pasta

BREAD AND CEREALS

RECOMMENDED

  • Gluten-free bread based on buckwheat, corn, rice, chickpea flour

  • Gluten free muesli, homemade muesli made from a combination of Brown rice flakes, millet flakes, organic cornflakes, puffed corn, puffed rice, raw nuts & seeds, shredded coconut

  • Puffed Kamut

  • Puffed quinoa

AVOID

  • Breakfast Bars

  • Burritos

  • Cereals containing sugar

  • Wheat bread: whole grain, white bread, rye bread, oat bread, barley bread, pumpernickel bread.

CONDIMENTS

RECOMMENDED

  • Sesame salt

  • Tamari (check label)

  • Mustard seeds

  • Fresh, dried herbs & spices

  • Apple cider vinegar

AVOID

  • Gravy mixes, seasonings & rubs

  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein

  • Malt

  • Malt vinegar

  • Modified starch

  • Mustard pickles

  • Soy sauce

  • Texturized vegetable protein

  • Vegemite

SNACKS & DESSERTS

RECOMMENDED

  • Fruit

  • Nuts

  • Dried fruits (avoid sulphites code 220)

AVOID

  • Cakes

  • Chocolate

  • Commercial biscuits, cookies, cakes, scones

  • Pastries

  • Flavoured or frozen Yoghurts

  • Fried foods

  • Fruit Juices

  • Ice Cream

  • Liquorice

  • Potato chips

  • Processed cheeses & creams

  • Lollies

  • Soft drinks

DAIRY FOODS

RECOMMENDED

  • Almond milk

  • Soy milk and yoghurt

  • Rice milk

  • Non-dairy cheese

AVOID

  • Cow’s milk

  • Goat’s milk

  • Butter

  • Cheese

  • Sour cream

  • Yoghurt

  • Ice cream

  • Margarine

  • Soy cheese

Research has shown significant improvement in several conditions, including schizophrenia and autism, following a GFCF diet. In a survey of over 3500 parents of autistic children, reported that 70% found a GFCF diet improved behaviour, eye contact and socialisation, concentration and learning. It is recommended to follow the GFCF diet strictly for at least six months to assess the benefit of this diet.