Thyroid UK
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Gluten free, or not so free

Hi just needing a bit of a rant. My attempts to stay well with Hashimotos by keeping to a gluten free diet are endlessly frustrating. I source buckwheat grots from an extremely expensive wholefood shop only to read 'may contain traces of gluten'. I stare longingly at porridge oats on the supermarket shelves, dreaming of my once fulfilling bowl of muesli in the morning, but reading the ever present 'may contain traces of gluten'. Oats apparently are gluten free, they just come from factories that contaminate them! I'm really stuck to find a satisfying gluten free breakfast. I resorted to cornflakes to find they are flavoured with malt from barely. I've made rice pudding some mornings in desperation, but this goes against the low carb, high protein principle that supposedly supports good digestive health. I do buy gluten free bread for toast but at nearly 5 times the price it feels like a treat not a staple. I've done eggs and bacon but it ends up substituting for lunch as I like something easy first thing. So I'm basically having banana and yoghurt with seeds and nuts...for this reason I just can't contemplate going dairy free ! The confusion for me is that I read even trace amounts of gluten will set you back 6 months. I regularly make quiche for my family and eat the quiche without the pastry....knowing it must be CONTAMINATED. So basically I don't know why I'm putting myself through this. I don't believe it's possible to go truly gluten free in this age where cross contamination is so pervasive. My gut health has improved since February when I started to re-assess everything, but I started T3 about then too so am not sure how much the gluten free has helped or whether the better hormones are the significant factor. What do other people do ? How do you get around this 'traces of gluten in everything' problem ? And do we really know that even trace amounts still trigger an autoimmune reaction ? It would be good to know.....

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Alls I can say is I feel your pain 😭

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I follow the autoimmune protocol that is grain free, a quite a lot else free. It takes planning and a willingness to adapt your eating patterns. My breakfast is a spirilised veg, garlic and chicken stir fry thing. Lunch is meat and large portion of veg, supper nibbles of veg and soup. I have used a variety of alternative milks that make kefir or yoghurt. What is not so easy is takeaways and eating out. So read, prepare and plan so that you succeed.

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I agree that it's really only possible if we commit to the meat and veg principles which like you say takes planning and preparation. Much harder of course if you cook for others on conventional diet. I got depressed trying to follow one of those protocols....think it was SIBO....couldn't eat lentils, pulses, certain veg, avocado, potatoes. I did the bone broth thing and lived on that until I got fed up with it. I've made the Paléo pancakes with coconut flour...they are ok but like many other substitutes it feels like a lot of work for quite a disappointing result. essentially though your right...giving up all grains is the only way to be properly gluten free.

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I'm quite prepared to eat oat groats as, in small quantities, it's easy to spot any contamination by other grains -- and I've not yet experienced any. I soaked them overnight or 24/36 hours and had them as a muesli ingredient.

This year, though, I've got more organized with sourdough baking, so I have no excuse to eat commercial or home-made yeasted bread. I mainly use dark rye flour, which produces dense loaves that I'm very happy with. With yeast leavening, they would be a chore to eat. The sourdough process may break down the gluten, but then most of us may not really have a problem with gluten. Kamut flour is even reported to be anti-inflammatory.

Years ago a medic said that there were greater dangers, from nutritional deficiencies, for the "worried well" eliminating whole food groups due to allergen testing. Many foods just need preparing in ways that have been found beneficial over generations e.g. soaking rice or potatoes before boiling.

It's certainly the case that wheat is a major part of most people's diet, and other options could be beneficial, not least to the growers and environment. The DASH diet gives sensible guidance on quantities to ensure adequate calories and minerals etc., and the bread allowance is small, compared with other grains. For 1,300, 2,600 and 3,100 calories, three, five and six cups of cooked grains are allowed per day. Brown Basmati rice, buckwheat, oats, millet and barley, cooked separately or in mixtures, are what I have.

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Hi,

Have you checked the free from shelves in the supermarkets, they should have oats, muesli etc that are properly gluten free with no cross contamination. Sainsbury's have a large range of cereals in the free from section, also Doves Farms cereals are very nice, the cereal flakes and chocolate stars are both very tasty and gluten free.

I often just have a couple of boiled eggs for breakfast too.

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