The hardest part of living a gluten-free lifestyle is trying to find the perfect gluten-free bread that tastes good and doesn’t crumble to pieces after every bite. When it comes to gluten-free bread, the standing belief is that homemade is always better than store-bought. A few years ago, this idea might be true because there were only a couple of gluten-free products on the market. They didn’t offer much regarding taste or texture.
But now there is a tremendous improvement in the world of gluten-free bread. Fortunately, gluten-free manufacturers have come to our rescue with an ever-broadening variety of excellent store-bought gluten-free bread products. In this article, we’ll discuss gluten in all possible angles and give you the rundown of the best bread for gluten-free diet.
Who needs gluten-free bread?
People with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy and irritable bowel syndrome need gluten-free bread because a gluten-free diet acts as a detox diet. It relieves their system of an irritant.
If you suffer from celiac disease, your villi-tiny fingerlike tissues present in your digestive tract becomes injured due to chronic inflammation caused by gluten. If you have celiac disease, you might also become lactose intolerant and develop iron deficiency anemia.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity does not damage your intestinal lining. However, you might experience headaches, bloating, fatigue, or diarrhea after eating foods containing gluten. As a result, following a gluten-free diet improves your quality of life.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a group of proteins present in rye, wheat, spelt and barley. Among them, wheat is the most famous of the gluten-containing grains. The name gluten is derived from the glue-like property of wet dough. The two major proteins in gluten are glutenin and gliadin. Gliadin is responsible for most of the adverse health effects.
When you mix flour with water, the gluten proteins become sticky and gets a glue-like consistency. This property makes the dough elastic and helps the bread to rise when you bake it. It gives the bread a chewy texture.
Gluten is the only protein found in your food that is entirely indigestible. Experts say that gluten’s non-breakable molecules can slip through your intestinal lining and cause inflammation in the intestines if you have celiac disease. Your inside of the small intestine is lined with finger-like projections called villi that help your body absorb nutrients.
In case of celiac disease, gluten irritates the lining of the small intestine and also causes the immune system to attack the villi. Over time, the villi get damaged or destroyed. This action often means that your body fails to absorb the recommended nutrients from food. Nutrients pass through your digestive tract and get excreted with your body’s waste, and may result in malnutrition.
Celiac disease is hereditary which can develop at any age if you start eating foods or medicines that contain gluten. If you leave it untreated, it leads to additional serious health problems. These include anemia, Type I diabetes and multiple sclerosis, short stature, dermatitis herpetiformis (an itchy skin rash), osteoporosis, infertility and miscarriage, neurological conditions like epilepsy and migraines and intestinal cancers.
Many people may not test positive for celiac disease but still react negatively to gluten. Gluten sensitivity has many symptoms similar to celiac disease. The collaborative report published by Sapone et al. (2012) says that people who have non-celiac gluten sensitivity show extra intestinal or non-GI symptoms, such as a headache, joint pain, foggy mind and numbness in the legs, arms or fingers. The symptoms begin to show up hours or days after gluten has been ingested.
Scientific studies say that gluten sensitivity does not increase intestinal permeability that is characteristic of celiac disease. Increased intestinal permeability allows bacteria, toxins, and undigested food proteins to seep through the GI barrier and into the bloodstream. Studies show that it’s an early biological change, which can lead to the beginning of several autoimmune diseases.
Irritable bowel syndrome is a mix of stomach discomfort or pain and trouble with bowel habits. It may either result in diarrhea or constipation or have a different kind of stool (thin, hard, or soft and liquid). This disease is not life-threatening. It doesn’t make you more likely to get other colon conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or colon cancer. But it’s a lifelong problem that affects your quality of life.
If you have an allergic reaction to foods containing wheat, then you may have a wheat allergy. You may get an allergy when you eat wheat, or by merely inhaling wheat flour. Symptoms include swelling, itching or irritation of the mouth or throat, nasal congestion, hives, itchy rash or swelling of the skin, diarrhea, cramps, nausea or vomiting and anaphylaxis so on. Avoiding wheat is the primary treatment for wheat allergy.
FODMAP’s can also lead to digestive issues. They are short-chain carbohydrates found in wheat and other foods. They may be the actual culprit for many people who think they react negatively to gluten. A low-FODMAP diet will significantly reduce the symptoms.
Starting a gluten-free diet may be somewhat challenging. A gluten-free diet mainly eliminates the protein gluten. Foods such as wheat, rye, spelt, barley, cereals, pasta, bread, cakes, cookies, pastries, and beer are high in gluten. All sorts of processed foods do contain wheat. The first thing you need to do is start reading the labels on everything you eat. Try to include whole, healthy foods, as they are naturally gluten-free. Avoid processed foods, cereals, and grains that contain gluten.
Some naturally gluten-free grains and seeds include rice, corn, quinoa, flax, tapioca, sorghum, millet, amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, and oats. Healthy whole foods that are naturally gluten-free are fish and seafood, eggs, meat, veggies, fruits, dairy products, nuts, legumes, tubers, and fats such as oil and butter.
Try to avoid processed gluten-free products. They have a low nutrient content and are high in refined grains and added sugars. If you’re perfectly healthy, then there’s no point in eating a gluten-free diet, but if you have specific health conditions, removing gluten from the diet can make a huge difference.
What are the benefits of gluten-free diet?
Avoiding gluten means you have to cut back on traditional bread, pizza, pasta, and beer. Gluten may also be found in soy sauce, frozen vegetables in sauce, vitamin and mineral supplements, foods made with natural flavorings and toothpaste.
So it is hugely challenging to flow a gluten-free diet. It can also cause some nutritional deficiencies. To prevent such dietary shortcomings, take a gluten-free multivitamin multimineral supplement.
If you are following a gluten-free diet, make sure it is nutrient dense and full of whole foods. Although there is a wide range of gluten-free products now available, they may not be as high in fiber, iron, folic acid and B vitamins as gluten-containing counterparts. To ensure you are getting enough fiber and B-vitamins, eat a wide variety of gluten-free grains, fruit, and vegetables. Buy whole grain gluten-free flour mixes which contain more fiber than the highly refined white rice, tapioca, and cornstarch flours.
“Unlike other proteins, we don’t digest gluten completely,” “In some people, the immune system sees gluten as the enemy and will unleash weapons to attack it, causing inflammation in the intestines as well as in other organs and tissues,” Alessio Fasano, MD Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston tells Arthritis Foundation.
“The inside of a healthy small bowel resembles a deep-pile carpet, but in untreated celiac disease, it looks like a tile floor,” Joseph A. Murray, MD, who directs the Celiac Disease Program at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Minnesota tells Arthritis Foundation.
If you eliminate gluten from your diet, you can prevent the immune response from damaging the tissues of your small intestine. Preventing inflammation will quickly reduce the most immediate symptoms of Celiac disease, such as vomiting or diarrhea, and will cause less cramping and bloating.
Your small intestine contains small finger-like projections of tissue called villi. They increase the surface area of your intestine and provide specialized cells that transport substances through your bloodstream. Villi do not aid in the nutrient digestion, but they do help with nutrient absorption.
When gluten enters the person with a celiac deficiency, it causes inflammation and blunts out the villi, rendering it incapable of aiding the breakdown of nutrients effectively. Avoiding gluten ensures that you obtain all nutrients available through your diet.
The ‘Going Gluten Free’ study conducted in the UK, found that gluten-free diet can make you healthier. The researchers asked 95 adults consisting of 64 women and 31 men to adopt a gluten-free diet for three weeks and to return to their regular food, for the same period. The participants found that their stomach cramps and rumbles were reduced and their fatigue levels were lower during the gluten-free spell.
“It was interesting to discover that a gluten-free diet improves feelings of fatigue, with participants reporting much higher energy levels during the gluten-free period of the study,”“The fact that they were able to start tasks quicker concentrate better and think clearer during this time, and felt the need to restless, all point towards the idea that sensitivity to gluten does exist for some individuals who don’t have coeliac disease.”
“It was equally interesting to see that none of the participants gained any weight while going gluten-free, in fact, our participant’s diets improved through increased fiber and vegetable consumption, and reduced salt intake,” Dr. Alexandra Johnstone, of the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, tells Mail Online.
Promotes skin health
If you have gluten sensitivity, it will affect you in many ways. First, it alters the integrity of your gut, creating cracks in your gut lining. This process allows toxins to recirculate back into your system.
Secondly, because gluten-sensitive people do not digest the gluten adequately, these large molecules enter the bloodstream. The immune system considers them as invaders and activates the immune response, leading to increased inflammation, and the result is acne. The immune response triggers insulin release which causes increased hormone levels, another cause of acne.
The inflammation that results due to gluten sensitivity also causes eczema, psoriasis flare-ups, hives, itching, and rashes. So if you cut out gluten, you can enjoy clear skin that doesn’t itch or get discolored when you eat certain foods.
Boosts brain performance
“The brain responds badly to inflammation,” says Dr. David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain. According to him, an increasing number of people are experiencing neurological challenges. This neurological challenge includes poor memory function, difficulty staying on task, brain fog and severe headaches. These result from inflammation; a common reaction to gluten in those with a sensitivity to the protein.
According to Dr. Perlmutter, some of your brain proteins look similar to gliadin, a protein found in gluten-containing foods. The anti-gliadin antibodies produced by a gluten sensitive person find it hard to distinguish between the two proteins and feast upon brain proteins needed for cognitive performance. If you go on a gluten-free diet, it will make you smarter and will protect your cognitive function from weakening.
Dr. Perlmutter stresses on stocking up on healthy fats for a healthy brain. Since your brain is made up of 70 percent fat, overloading your plate with carbohydrates and sugars mean your brain isn’t getting the fuel it requires. Perlmutter recommends eating a high-fat breakfast with eggs, nuts, seeds or avocado and foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids. These foods protect your brain.
According to Dr. Perlmutter gluten stimulates the cells of the intestine to secrete a protein called zonulin. This protein regulates the absorbency of your intestine. Zonulin in increased amounts erodes the walls of your intestine, allowing various proteins to leave the gut and enter your bloodstream. This action poses many challenges to the immune system, weakening your ability to fight off diseases. A gluten-free diet enhances your immunity.
What are the precautions for gluten-free diet?
Adopting a gluten-free diet goes beyond eliminating bread, cereals, baked goods, and pasta. Be known that gluten may be present in a wide variety of sauces, processed foods, and condiments. It may even be present as a binder in your vitamin and mineral supplements. So you have to understand its widespread use in commercial food production.
Probably the most useful precaution to take is to avoid eating in restaurants because of the high risk of contamination. You may try to consider cooking the majority of your meals at home. Clean all surfaces and utensils carefully before starting work. It is advisable to use easy-to-clean appliances made of glass or metal or to use separate utensils, especially for gluten-free food.
Store gluten-free foods and gluten-containing products separately. Try to prepare them in different pots or pans. When serving gluten-free bread or cake, make sure to use various chopping boards, knives and cake lifters.
What is the best bread for gluten-free diet?
The grains present in this bread for gluten-free diet include brown rice, sorghum, millet, teff, quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. Canyon Bakehouse, the winner of 2012 The Readers’ Choice Award for Best Gluten-Free Bread, makes this bread for gluten-free diet.
Canyon Bakehouse products are free of nuts, soy, dairy, and casein, but include eggs. The company tests its products to make sure they contain less than five parts per million of gluten.
“ALL the other brands of gluten free bread I have tried have tasted awful! I have spent a lot of money & time trying different brand and kinds. Canyon Bakehouse makes good tasting gluten-free bread. The feel, smell and texture of the bread are normal as well. I am so thankful to Canyon Bakehouse to be able to enjoy sandwiches again!” Writes David H, a verified Amazon buyer.
- 100% whole grains
- Gluten free
- Great taste
- Produced by Canyon Bakehouse, the winner of 2012 The Readers’ Choice Award for Best Gluten-Free Bread
Ener-G, is a Washington state company, specializing in allergen-free products. It offers 12 different types of bread, ranging from basic white tapioca sliced bread to high-fiber and flax seed loaves. This bread for gluten-free diet is free of wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, saturated fat, trans fat, and Kosher Parve (does not contain dairy or meat ingredient according to Jewish laws)
Ener-G Foods have pioneered a vacuum packing system that eliminates the need for preservatives and gives their products a 1- year shelf life without the need for refrigeration or freezing. This bread for gluten-free diet contains rice flour, tapioca starch, pear juice concentrate, bamboo fiber, organic palm fruit oil, yeast, organic tapioca syrup, salt and orange citrus fiber.
This gluten-free bread is enriched with vitamins and minerals. The company tests its products to be sure they contain less than five parts per million of gluten.
- Free of gluten, wheat, dairy, casein and saturated fat
- Contains no preservatives
- Is light and great for toasting
- Enriched with vitamins and minerals
Glutino makes four different types of sandwich bread: seeded, cinnamon-raisin, white, and multi-grain. This bread for a gluten-free diet is free of milk and casein, but it does contain eggs. This gluten-free bread is also free of preservatives.
“For someone who doesn’t do wheat or sugar, this is a good tasting bread. We buy it by the case, and it freezes well. Use it as a snack at night. Toasted, with peanut butter and apple, spread it’s delicious,” writes Maher, a satisfied Amazon user of this product.
- Gluten free
- Milk and casein free
- No preservatives
- Does not crumble
- A bit dry
Kinnikinnick Foods makes four different kinds of gluten-free bread, including whole grain, multigrain, white, and cinnamon-raisin. This bread for gluten-free diet contains corn, eggs, yeast, and potato.
The University of Nebraska has certified Kinnikinnick’s products to provide fewer than five parts per million of gluten. The bread is produced in a nut-free facility. This bread for gluten-free diet ships frozen and once your order is processed, it cannot be canceled.
“This is the best white bread I have ever had, gluten-free or not. It’s not gluey or mushy like cheap white bread, and it doesn’t have any off-putting tastes or textures like much gluten-free bread. “I’m not gluten sensitive, but I mostly avoid grains other than white rice, so this bread (made from white rice flour, no other grains) is perfect for me. Taste, texture, ingredients are all A+”, writes Nate Brown, a verified purchaser of this gluten-free bread on Amazon.
- Does not have aftertaste
- Free of dairy and nuts
- Has excellent taste
- Cannot cancel your order after it is processed
When comparing the bread for a gluten-free diet, we found Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free 7-Grain Sandwich Bread to be the best bread for a gluten-free diet.
Canyon Bakehouse, the winner of 2012 The Readers’ Choice Award for Best Gluten-Free Bread, bakes this delicious bread. This bread for gluten-free diet contains less than five parts per million of gluten.
A variety of ancient grains such as quinoa, teff, and amaranth are the constituents of this bread for a gluten-free diet.
This gluten-free bread is very soft, fluffy, and spongy. It has bits of seeds scattered throughout the bread giving it that whole-grain feel. This gluten-free bread has a sweet taste due to the agave listed in the ingredients.
It is a non-GMO product and has 100% whole grains. This bread for a gluten-free diet is free from dairy, certified Gluten-Free and Kosher. It is devoid of casein, nuts, and soy. You can enjoy eating it without compromise.
Overall in our opinion, we consider Canyon Bakehouse Gluten Free 7-Grain Sandwich Bread to be the best of the best.
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