Gluten-Free Vegan Diet
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|
|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|
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…
Lentil stew, salad
Tempeh medallions in porcini mushroom sauce, pumpkin croquettes, salad
Quinoa and bean burgers, cooked vegetables, salad
Soy yogurt + strawberries
Fruit salad with almonds
Vegan gluten-free tortilla, salad
Pumpkin and potato stuffed peppers
Vegetable fritters with soy yogurt dip
Written by Ivana Simic, master of nutrition