Roti is one of the staples in Indian households. Traditionally, it is made from whole wheat flour, also known as ‘gehun ka atta.’ But while whole wheat is rich in protein and fibre, it is also high in gluten. Therefore, with growing awareness of gluten intolerance and the diseases associated with it, people have switched to other alternatives to making roti or Indian flatbread. In this article, we will discuss a wide range of atta or flour options that are free of gluten and great for people with celiac disease.
Also Read: Healthy Food Alternatives That Can Prevent Bad Cholesterol
Gluten-Free Atta Alternatives
Gluten is a naturally found protein in certain grains including wheat, barley, rye and their derivatives or cross-contaminated products. It works as a binder that keeps foods intact and gives them an elastic effect. However, people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease do not respond well to gluten-rich foods, which can impact their digestive health. Due to an increase in celiac disease cases and gluten sensitivity, there has been a rise in gluten-free options available in the market. Dr Edwina Raj, Head - Clinical Nutrition Dietetics, Aster CMI Hospital, Bangalore, shares some of the gluten-free substitutes that have existed in India for a long time and widely used by our ancestors. Let us take a look at them.
Millets, such as pearl, foxtail, browntop, barnyard, proso, jowar/sorghum, ragi/finger millet are rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre, which helps support the good bacteria in the gut. They are naturally gluten-free; therefore an effective atta alternative for people with gluten sensitivity.
Pseudocereals are a group of gluten-free cereals that have high nutritional value. These include rajgira (amaranth seeds) and kuttu (buckwheat). According to Dr Raj, these grains can be great options for weight watchers; especially those who have eliminated wheat from their diet.
Chickpea flour is naturally gluten-free. Also known as gram flour, or garbanzo flour, it is said to be a great alternative to refined wheat flour, since it's lower in carbs and calories.
Cassava flour is a gluten-free flour that is low in fat content, making it effective for weight loss. It is made from cassava roots and contains resistant starch, which cannot be broken down by the body and is used for energy.
Also Read: Protein Deficiency: 7 Signs That Will Tell You Are Not Eating Enough Protein
Almond flour is a great gluten-free alternative to wheat flour. It is rich in several nutrients including vitamin E and antioxidants. It reduces the risk of some serious health problems.
Arrowroot flour is a gluten-free flour made from a tropical plant known as Maranta arundinacea. It is rich in B vitamins, potassium and iron, which aids various bodily functions. It is starch-based and can be mixed with other flours to make bread.
Not only is coconut flour grain-free, but it is also gluten-free. It is suitable for people with gluten intolerance and those suffering from celiac disease. In terms of nutrition, coconut flour is high in fibre and a rich source of protein as well.
From abdominal pain, diarrhoea and constipation to bloating, fatigue and brain fog, gluten intolerance can cause several issues in the body. Getting the IgG allergy test can help detect gluten sensitivity or other related health problems; hence fastening the treatment process and determining a diet plan is of utmost importance.