Quackery Exposed: Gluten Free/Casein Free Diet


Disclaimer: If you have a legitimate medical condition or allergy that prohibits you from eating casein or gluten, this is not directed at you. This is about the restrictive diet marketed to parents of autistic children.

Gluten Free, Casein free diet is a restrictive diets that pseudoscience says will “make autism better.” To me it says they want to make children appear neurotypical. It is often called GF/CF diet. In this restrictive diet, foods that contain gluten (breads and cereals) and casein (dairy products) are eliminated. They claim that eliminating gluten and casein may help lessen autistic behaviors and difficulty with autistic people. You cannot change neurology by changing the child or adult’s diet to being more restrictive!

Organizations that Support this Quack Diet:

Autism Speaks explains it in their 100 Day Kit

The Quack Diet

There have not been one scientific study proving the effectiveness of this. This is the neurotypicals trying to cure us of our neurology. They never asked an autistic person what they thought.

By putting a child on this diet, there are nutrients lacking in the food they eat. They are:

  • Calcium
  • Fiber
  • Vitamins A, D and B complex
  • Calories

The foods that that contain gluten are :

  • Abyssinian hard wheat
  • barley
  • barley flour
  • barley malt
  • barley hardeum vulgare
  • Bleached all purpose flour
  • bran
  • Bread flour
  • brown flour
  • Durum flour
  • enriched flour
  • Fu (dried wheat gluten)
  • Gluten flour
  • Graham flour
  • Granary flour
  • Hard wheat
  • High protien flour
  • High gluten flour
  • Kamut wheat
  • Oat flour
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Wheat
  • Wheat flour
  • White flour
  • Whole meal flour
  • Vital gluten
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Avena
  • Beer
  • Bouillon cubes or powder
  • Bread crumbs
  • Bulgur (bulgur wheat/nuts)
  • Broth (packaged)
  • Cereal extract
  • Cereal binder
  • Chilton
  • Couscous
  • Cracker meal
  • Croutons
  • Dextrin
  • Durum
  • Edible starch
  • Einkorn wheat
  • Filler
  • Galactose
  • Ghee
  • Glutamate
  • Glutamic acid
  • Gravy cubes
  • Gravy mixes (unless homemade with cornstarch)
  • Herbs with wheat fillers
  • Hordeum
  • Hydrolyzed oat starch
  • Hydrolyzed plant protein (HPP)
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
  • Malt
  • Non-dairy creamer (coffee creamer)
  • Oats
  • Pearl barley (Job’s Tears)
  • Nougat
  • Seitan
  • Simplesse
  • Semolina
  • Soba noodles
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Triticale
  • Udon
  • Vegetable starch
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Chorizo sausage
  • Gelatinized starch
  • Ground spices
  • Hot dogs
  • Lactic acid
  • Luncheon meats
  • Modified food starch
  • Natural flavoring
  • Sausages
  • Soy sauce (shoyu)
  • Surimi
  • Miso
  • Monosodium glutamate
  • MSG
  • Rice malt
  • Rice syrup
  • Vitamins

Foods that Contain Casein

  • Acidophilus milk
  • Buttermilk
  • Condensed milk
  • Evaporated milk
  • Dry milk
  • Goat milk
  • Low fat milk
  • Malted milk
  • Milk chocolate
  • Milk powder
  • Milk solids
  • Non-fat milk
  • Powdered milk
  • Skim milk
  • Whole milk
Other sources of casein:
  • Artificial butter flavor
  • Butter
  • Butter fat
  • Butter flavoring
  • Butter oil
  • Caseinate
  • Cheese (hard and soft)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Custard
  • Curds
  • Delactosed whey
  • Half and half
  • Ice cream
  • Lactoglobulin
  • Lactose
  • Lactalbumin
  • Lactate solids
  • Lactulose
  • Pudding
  • Rennet casein
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Sherbet
  • Sour cream
  • Sour cream solids
  • Whey
  • Yogurt
These foods may contain casein.
If the item is not labeled GF/CF, check with the manufacturer.
  • Brown sugar flavoring
  • Bavarian cream flavoring
  • Caramel coloring
  • Chorizo
  • Coconut flavoring
  • Hot dogs
  • Luncheon meats
  • Natural chocolate flavoring
  • Sausages


Many foods do not contain gluten or casein, such as:
  • chicken, fish, meat
  • fruits, vegetables
  • potatoes, rice, infant rice cereal
  • cereal and pasta labeled “gluten-free”
  • Guten-free flours:
  • Amaranth flour
  • Buckwheat flour
  • Corn meal flour (and polenta)
  • Garbanzo bean flour
  • Garfava flour
  • Lentil flour
  • Millet flour
  • Nut flours (such as almond, cashew)
  • Potato starch flour
  • Potato flour
  • Quinoa flour
  • Rice flour (brown or white)
  • Sorghum flour (Jowar)
  • Sweet potato flour
  • Tapioca flour or tapioca starch
  • Teff flour
  • Yucca (cassava flour)
  • Milk substitutes:
  • Almond milk
  • DariFree® potato milk
  • Rice milk
  • Soy milk
  • Butter substitutes:
  • Use non-dairy margarine such as:
  • Hains® safflower margarine
  • Mazola® unsalted corn margarine
  • Willow Run® margarine

Non Food products Must be Gluten and Casen Free TOO!

Contains gluten Gluten-free
Lip balm Burt’s Bees®
Laundry detergent
Arm and Hammer® Baking
Soda detergent
Soap, shampoo
Johnson & Johnson®
Sensitive body wash
Spices (ground) McCormick’s®
Sunscreen Banana Boat® Children’s
Toothpaste Tom’s Toothpaste of Maine®

This diet even prohibits licking stamps and envelopes because they contain gluten. They cannot have stickers because they contain gluten. Antibiotics and other medications are on the restricted list as well.  They want separated appliances. This is almost like an orthodox level Kosher  but much more restrictive 

5 thoughts on “Quackery Exposed: Gluten Free/Casein Free Diet

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