Gluten-free not necessarily grain-free

March 10, 2010 at 8:48 PM

DALLAS, March 10 (UPI) -- Relatively few grains have the protein indigestible to those with celiac disease and psoriasis and some grains are safe for them to eat, a U.S. researcher says.

Lona Sandon, assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, says relatively few grains -- wheat, barley and rye -- contain the protein indigestible to those with celiac disease and psoriasis, and while these grains may be widespread, so are many other gluten-free grains including corn, rice and wild rice.

"Buckwheat, amaranth, sorghum and quinoa are also gluten-free," Sandon says in a statement. "Oats are another option, but they're often processed alongside wheat so people should look for gluten-free oats."

Sandon says the key in limiting or eliminating gluten from dietary choices is for people to try the numerous options available where natural or healthy-choice foods are offered.

Celiac disease is a hereditary digestive condition that damages the small intestine and interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food because of gluten sensitivity, Sandon says.

There is a growing body of evidence that there is a connection between psoriasis and gluten intolerance -- celiac disease -- and for some with psoriasis there is a connection between what they eat and their skin.

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