In theory, the gluten-free diet seems simple, but in practice, its rigorous application is very difficult insofar as gluten is present in many foods or commercial food products, and in very diverse forms which sometimes makes it “invisible”. to the uncaring eye. The gluten intolerant person must learn to identify the presence of gluten by reading the labeling of the trade very carefully and be very careful in situations where they eat out.


This acronym is a mnemonic device to easily remember which cereals must be permanently removed from the diet: Seigle(Rye) , Avoine(Oat) , Blé(Wheat) , Orge(Barley) and Tritical . The gluten they contain is actually made up of proteins called prolamins and glutenins. Prolamines constitute the toxic fraction of gluten for the person intolerant to it.

The case of oats

It is special, insofar as its toxicity is sometimes invalidated, sometimes reconfirmed.
This cereal is nevertheless often not recommended in the gluten-free diet by most specialists because it is often contaminated with wheat.

To be excluded

Every day, the gluten-free diet forces the gluten intolerant person to be very organized, because the exclusion of these five cereals really complicates life. Gluten-intolerant people will find it easier to fill their grocery basket in the fruit and vegetable department, at the meat and fish counter, but for the purchase of manufactured foods, going to the market can quickly become a “shopping tour”. fighter” because it is necessary to eliminate flour, breads of all kinds, rusks, biscuits (savory and sweet), semolina, pizza, all pasta (cannelloni, spaghetti, lasagna, etc.), pastries, pastries, pasta pies, breadcrumbs, bread , beer (malt), oatmeal, breakfast cereals… And the list goes on and on… Even hosts contain gluten! Gluten is also widely used in the food industry for properties other than dough kneading: binder in liver pâté or creton, flavor enhancer in charcuterie, etc. Certain ingredients and/or names may mask the presence of gluten, such as: unspecified modified starch, vegetable proteins, malt, malt extract, flavourings, seasonings, essence, certain anti-caking agents used for packaging figs and fruit jellies, certain thickeners used in low-fat products, wheat bran, wheat germ and of course… gluten. What quickly tear your hair out and give up if you do not have a list of foods “contaminated” by gluten when shopping.

Support groups become valuable allies at this time and are able to help new patients take their first steps on the gluten-free diet. Here in Quebec, the new patient is often referred, by the doctor at the time of diagnosis, to the Quebec Foundation for Celiac Disease (FQMC) which provides him with excellent documentation (including a small pocket-sized guide to the ingredients allowed and to be avoided, very useful when shopping) and very good support. We can also mention at the Canadian level, the Canadian Association of Celiac Disease . We cannot stress enough the importance, even the necessity, of joining such a group.

Foods to avoid:

Starch from unknown source
starch Modified starch from unknown source
Malt flavor
Beers except the Messenger (buckwheat)
Breadcrumbs (prohibited cereals)
Durum (durum wheat)
Malt extract
flour Oat
flour barley
Malt flour
Buckwheat flour (risk of contamination)
flour Graham flour
Wheat starch Wheat
(species of wheat)
Barley Malt
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
syrup Oat syrup
bran Oat bran
Malt vinegar

Zero gluten

Some plants are completely gluten-free and can therefore be eaten without risk by gluten-intolerant people who find a good part of their carbohydrate intake there. However, due to the risk of contamination, for certain foods it is preferable to choose products manufactured by specialized companies renowned for the quality of their gluten-free products. (See table)

Gluten-free foods 

RiceWhite, brown, wholemeal, red, wild, rice flakes, pancakes, rice flours…
The cornCorn starch, grains and cobs, semolina for polenta and to imitate couscous, corn flour
(possible contamination)
Flour, cookies, toasted (Kasha)
(possible contamination)
In semolina, in flakes, and sorghum which is a variety of millet
SesameIn seeds for pastries, biscuits, bread
soyFlakes, flours, vermicelli, soy milk, tofu.
starchCorn, potatoes, rice, tapioca (cassava)
(contamination possible)
To thicken soups, sauces, creams, (arrowroot biscuits are prohibited)

Several ingredients and/or denominations also signify the absence of gluten:
starch from authorized cereals, glucose, glutamate, gelatin, thickeners (carob, xanthan gum), texture agents (alginates, carrageenan),…. Other plants genetically distant from cereals, if they can be at the origin of punctual phenomena of food intolerances, have no effect on gluten intolerance itself and should not be discouraged in the gluten-free diet. . Finally, a wide range of gluten-free cereal products has emerged, particularly in specialist stores. They certainly help the gluten-intolerant patient to live “normally” by allowing the production of gluten-free bread, pasta, pancakes, pizzas, pastries, etc., even if their price does not put them within the reach of all budgets.

Special attention should be paid to manufactured foods such as soups, sauces, soup bases, soy sauce, imitation seafood (pollock), condiments, spices, candies, chocolate, ice cream , gum, juices, desserts, frozen prepared foods, frozen fries, etc. These foods very often contain gluten. You should also check with your pharmacist to make sure that the medications you take do not contain gluten. The stamps as well as the envelopes contain gluten in the glue so it is therefore forbidden to lick this glue. Spray oils used for cooking may also contain gluten.

Finally, particular attention must be paid to the preparation of meals to avoid cross-contamination. The work surfaces and utensils must be clean, the person intolerant to gluten must have their own food in the pantry and the fridge and identified with their name or identified as “gluten-free” in order to avoid contamination by others. non-gluten intolerant people living under the same roof; for example, she must have her jar of jam, honey, mustard, butter, etc. A toaster specifically reserved for this person will also be necessary.

In conclusion, with a minimum of organization and vigilance as well as understanding on the part of the entourage of the person sensitive to gluten, he will be able to lead an almost normal and above all healthy life!