Top 10 Gluten Cross-Reactors


Do you find your digestion is stressed even when you avoid gluten? Are there times when you feel emotional ups and downs that could be related to diet? Many foods cross-react to gluten, meaning they create reactions by themselves or make your response to gluten even worse. The main grains that contain gluten are wheat, rye, barley, kamut, and spelt. You can have expensive tests done for all gluten cross-reactors at Cyrex Labs or TrueHealthLabs. Or you can do it yourself for a lot less. Start by eliminating these 10 foods from your diet for 2 weeks and notice how you feel. Observe your body and emotions. Keep a list of what you eat.

If this feels daunting, it’s NOT!
First of all, the Paleo Diet eliminates all gluten and the cross-reactors right from the start. Read my article What’s the Paleo Diet?  Every single recipe on this website is a resource for you, free of these common cross-reactors. Search the recipes here.  And my book Paleo Desserts has 125 more yummy recipes.

Here are the Top 10 Gluten Cross-Reactive Foods to Avoid:

  1. Sugar – The #1 top cross-reactor and metabolic scrambler in the human body. A sugar includes all high-carb sweeteners such as agave, maple, coconut, honey, refined and unrefined sugars. That’s why I use zero-carb Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener in all my recipes. It costs a bit more, but it tastes great and doesn’t raise my blood sugar one bit. Sugars increase stress levels in the body, because they make it work harder to maintain balance. And stress increases all food intolerances.
  2. Coffee – is a common cross-reactor that can exacerbate gluten reactions. 10% of coffee, including decaffeinated coffee, is a protein that cross reacts with gluten antibodies. So if even if you’re avoiding gluten, there is a strong likelihood that the protein in your coffee is triggering the very same gluten reactions you’re trying to avoid. Even worse, that caffeine rush that seems to raise your energy today, slowly steals away your long-term vitality and decreases sexual libido. For a better solution that allows you to enjoy your cup of Joe, see my yummy recipe for Paleo Coffee!
  3. Cow dairy – 50% of gluten intolerant people also react to dairy. Our milk is highly refined by law in the USA. And most cows consume gmo grains. A solution for many people is goat dairy, especially fermented, such as goat yogurt and kefir. These are widely available and taste delicious.
  4. Milk chocolate with sugar. Anything that contains dairy and sugar is a cross-reactor. Even if it’s organic. Try pure unsweetened chocolate or pure cacao powder, and make your own yummy chocolate treats. Better yet, buy my book Paleo Desserts for a whole chapter of amazing chocolate sweets.
  5. Potatoes and other nightshades such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant. Potato flour is often touted as a healthy alternative to wheat. But these nightshades vegetables are a problem for many people, and the results can be delayed weeks or months. If you’re of Caucasian descent, it’s likely that you have difficulty digesting nightshades. That’s because they are a New World food high in saponins, natural chemicals that cause perforations, or holes in the small intestine. A perforated gut is an open invitation for auto-immune diseases and food reactions. For more gory details see my article Beware of Nightshades.
  6. Oats – Even gluten-free oats is questionable.
  7. Corn – A common cross-reactor. 90% of our corn is gmo. Let’s label it.
  8. Rice – This favorite gluten-free alternative is often a cross-reactor.
  9. Tapioca – Often used in gluten-free flour blends, as its texture mimics wheat.
  10. Highly refined foods and chemicals, such as breakfast cereals, American cheese, artificial sweeteners, genetically modified foods such as canola, corn, and soy, etc.

Does this sound impossible? Not at all! Every single recipe on this website is free of these common cross-reactors. Search the recipes here. Buy my book Paleo Desserts for 125 more yummy recipes.

In my healing practice, I find that many people’s so-called gluten intolerance is greatly improved when they eliminate these top 10 cross-reactors. I’ve been off them for about 5 years; I’ve dropped pounds and seen a total turnaround in my health. Meanwhile I enjoy delicious, healthy meals. Check out the Paleo Diet, and let me know your comments.