Learn To Read Food Labels
To really expand your dietand to figure out which of your old favorites you might be able to includeyou’ll need to learn to find gluten on food labels.
In fact, you’ll probably become a bit of a detective, learning to search for the meaning of various terms you’ll find on different products. You’ll also get quite an education on the different ingredients that make up processed foods .
For example, terms that always mean “gluten” can include:
Meanwhile, terms that almost always mean “gluten” can include:
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Smoky Paprika Roast Chicken With Green Beans
Deconstruct a classic burrito bowl, remove grains and dairy, and you’ll get this satisfying and healthy beef burrito bowl. We’re using cauliflower rice instead of regular rice, and rely on spices and vegetables to punch up the flavors. A quick “guacamole” on top provides healthy fats and rounds out this clean lunch that is paleo and Whole30-compliant.
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Clean Out And Reorganize To Make Your Pantry Gluten Free
Most of us could use a good old-fashioned spring cleaning in the pantry anyway, right? So use your gluten free transition as a kick in the pants to get you moving.
- Sit down with a big cardboard box and a trash bag. Put all the gluten-containing foods in the box. Put all the things that are expired or already opened in the trash bag.
- Now review the items with gluten in them. What are you really sad to see go? Make a list this will form the beginning of your first gluten free grocery shopping list.
- Take the box to your local homeless shelter or food bank and pat yourself on the back: you have now done a good thing for yourself and for others.
- For the remaining gluten free foods, dedicate a section to your pantry or designate a cabinet to be entirely gluten free. If the whole house is going gluten free, well, that even easier!
- Thoroughly clean the surfaces of these cabinets and shelves. Make sure that no crumbs from the last bag of shredded wheat could find their way into your special gluten free foods.
- If anyone in your family is not going gluten free, youll need to designate a separate section or a cabinet for gluten-containing items. If theyll be stored close by, use large clear plastic lidded bins to keep any errant gluten crumbs or spills off the gluten free foods.
Can Make Socializing Difficult
Many social situations revolve around food.
This can make it difficult to socialize if youre following a gluten-free diet. While many restaurants have gluten-free options, there is still a risk of food being contaminated with traces of gluten .
Sadly, studies have found that roughly 21% of people with celiac disease avoid social events so that they can stick to their gluten-free diet .
That said, you can still socialize while following a gluten-free diet. It simply requires a little extra preparation beforehand.
For example, if youre eating out, call the restaurant beforehand to see if they have gluten-free options. If youre going to a social gathering, you may need to bring your own food.
People who follow a gluten-free diet may be at risk of nutritional deficiencies and prone to constipation. Following a gluten-free diet can also be quite expensive and make social situations difficult.
Here is a sample menu with delicious, gluten-free meals.
Feel free to swap meal suggestions according to your liking.
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Are Gluten Allergies Real
Yes! Well, sort of. A gluten allergy should actually be referred to as a gluten sensitivity. There is no such thing as a gluten allergy. However, a gluten sensitivity can be severe in nature.
A wheat allergy on the other hand is very real.
A wheat allergy is not the same as a gluten sensitivity as they involve two different immune mechanisms. A wheat allergy is an IgE-mediated response with immediate and usually moderate to severe presentation. Symptoms may include rash, hives, anaphylaxis, stuffy nose, or watery eyes. It is possible in some cases that an individual who is highly allergic to wheat could die upon exposure.
Foods To Avoid On A Gluten
Its important to eliminate every source of gluten when adopting a gluten-free diet, particularly if you have celiac disease. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley, malt, triticale, and Brewers yeast. Note that there are many forms, types, and names for wheat, and all of them contain gluten. Examples include durum, spelt, couscous, semolina, farina, farro, kamut, einkorn, wheat berries, bulgur, wheat bran, and wheat germ. Unless a product is specifically labeled as gluten-free and the ingredients label is indeed free from any gluten-containing ingredients, the foods to avoid on a gluten-free diet include the following:
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Become An Avid Label Reader To Avoid Gluten
If youre serious about going gluten free, you need to be serious about becoming an expert food label reader! When you clean your pantry, use the opportunity to get good at label terminology.
Get familiar with some of the many names for potential gluten sources like malt flavoring, malt vinegar or any unspecified thickeners, stabilizers, starches or flavorings. If these ingredients are wheat-based, wheat must be noted on the ingredient label however, if they are barley or rye-based, they are not specifically required to be called out as such on the label.
Bookmark, print or pin this list of 10 Surprising Places Gluten May be Hiding. It will serve you well! Did you know all 10?
Carry lists of gluten free grains and gluten containing ingredients as a reference to double-check when you run across something new or unique. You dont have to spend more money on these lists you can find lots of fact-checked content online. You can even carry my book with you, The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten Free.
Many companies food labels list no obvious gluten containing ingredients. Does that mean the product is gluten free?
Since August of 2014, the FDA has required manufacturers who label their products as Gluten Free to ensure that their products contain less than 20ppm gluten. Some do a better job than others. The best way to be sure that a product is safe for your family is to buy products that are CERTIFIED gluten free by independent organizations like GFCO.
Portobello Mushroom Pizzas With Sausage Bell Pepper And Basil
Craving pizza, but trying to keep it low-carb? Use portobello mushrooms! Fill up those mushroom caps with all of your favorite pizza ingredients to make a flavorful portobello mushroom pizzas, and skip all the carbs. These portobello mushroom pizzas are also great for meal prepping if you’re looking for something easy to whip up for the week ahead.
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Sneaky Sources Of Gluten
“Gluten is lurking in so many different foods because there are so many ways companies can use gluten,” says Begun. So you’re going to get used to playing food detective. While food companies are required to list allergens on the label , they are not required to do this with gluten. So while you can look for “gluten-free” on the front of the package, you should also flip it over and read the ingredients label. Reading labels and checking for cross-contamination is a must for people with celiac disease.
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Here’s what you’re looking for, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation: wheat, barley, rye, malt, brewer’s yeast and oats. Oats are often contaminated with gluten, so they have to specifically be certified gluten-free oats. Gluten-free flours, such as millet or amaranth, should also be bought certified gluten-free, says Begun. If the label lists an ingredient you’re not familiar with, “wait to eat it until you can confirm that it’s safe,” she says.
You probably know that a whole-wheat bagel is not gluten-free, but you might be surprised that some of your other favorite foods aren’t either.
Watch out for flavored nuts and chips , energy bars , creamy soups , candy, salad dressings, marinades and soy sauce. If you’re vegetarian, you might eat a lot of fake meats , but know that these are often made with seitan, which is wheat gluten.
Will A Gluten Free Diet Help Me Lose Weight
In a word…maybe! If you are going gluten free the healthy way you are essentially eating a clean diet with no processed, boxed and packaged foods. If that is what you are doing, you probably will lose weight.
If you are eating packaged gluten free crackers, cookies, granola bars, protein bars, pop tarts and cereal bars than no, not going to happen.
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Mussels In White Wine
Packed with protein, omega-3s, and a cache of energy-boosting B vitamins, shellfish make an ideal way to start a meal, or simply add a salad to the side, and you can call it a full meal for dinner. Build a flavor base with onions, garlic, and other aromatics, then add the mussels and enough liquid to create some steam. Cover and cook until they pop open, about 5 minutes or so. And make sure you have plenty of crusty bread for dunking in the sumptuous broth at the bottom of the bowl. No leftovers left behind!
Get our recipe for Mussels in White Wine.
Change Your Grocery List
You will have to ditch some of the things you used to buy before when you went grocery shopping. This is because they may be gluten-based, meaning they are forbidden when following this diet. So, for example, you will have to say goodbye to things like wheat flour.
However, this does not mean you cannot have pancakes anymore you can! All you have to do is substitute wheat flour with gluten-free flour. The same applies to cereal made from gluten foods. Substitute it with oatmeal.
If it is your first time creating a gluten-free shopping list, then do not hesitate to ask your nutritionist to double-check it for you . One thing they will also advise you to do is to read the label of every food before putting it in your cart. You will find that most foods have traces of gluten.
For those with diseases triggered by gluten, consuming even the slightest traces may trigger such conditions. On the other hand, even if you do not have a condition, eating gluten may jeopardize your hard work. So, take your time and read through labels checking if they have traces of the forbidden gluten foods.
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Replace Worn Out Pans That Harbor Gluten
Many people suggest that you buy all new pans when going gluten free. They suggest keeping dedicated pans and utensils only for gluten free meal prep. If this is possible with your budget and your kitchen storage, lucky you!
For most of us though, a whole new kitchen set might not be practical. Instead, thoroughly examine any pans with worn surfaces, scratches or dents that could harbor food between uses. Its probably time to replace them anyway, and going gluten free is the perfect excuse.
If you can separate any pans out for dedicated gluten free use, more power to you. I often recommend to my consulting clients that they identify these pans with brightly-colored electrical or duct tape wrapped around the handles.
If you simply cannot dedicate pans for exclusive gluten free use, dont worry. Just be sure to scrub the pans well and then wash them in a dishwasher using all washing and drying cycles. Your pans will be cleaner-than-clean, and also safe.
Another great way to save time on clean up and ensure youre not subjecting yourself to unwanted gluten from old pans and baking stones is simply to cover everything with parchment.
I often say that parchment is my favorite baking accessory, and theres more than one reason!
Buy Yourself A Gluten Free Treat
Seriously. Go to your grocery stores gluten free aisle and get some Glutino cookies and a couple of boxes of gluten free cake mix. If your store doesnt have a gluten free section, you can order lots of good stuff online.
If your young child is the one going gluten free, try and make this a special event with lots of wow! Brownies! I love brownies!
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Gluten Hides In Many Foods So You Need To Know Its Many Names
While it would be nice to simply toss out grains like wheat, spelt, rye, barley, farro, kamut, and semolina, and call it gluten-free good, there are plenty of other places gluten is hiding. The standard American diet is, unfortunately, a processed food nightmare, and with that comes a whole lot of gluten. To avoid it, youre going to have to be one smart investigator. Read labels of packaged foods like youre looking for the culprit of a crime.
While food companies must list allergens on the label, such as eggs and nuts, they do not have to list other names for gluten. Much like salt has many different names , and sugar on food labels, so does gluten.
Love swirling your sushi in soy sauce? Unfortunately, soy sauce is made with fermented wheat. Is your comfort food a big bowl of soup or savory sauce-covered piece of meat? Flour serves as a thickener for many soups and sauces. Gluten is used to stabilize ingredients in products including ketchup, mustard, and pre-made marinades.
Licorice, your best friend since you can remember, contains wheat. Many vegetarian and vegan products contain wheat to give the product its chewy texture. Plus, processed meats like hot dogs and sausages usually contain flour for texture, filler, or as a thickening agent. Even spice blends like taco mixes often contain gluten.
The bottom line is that its just not enough to assume something is gluten-free. The certification should be present, and you need to be really diligent about checking labels.
Step : Watch Out For Cross
When preparing gluten-free foods, take care to prevent cross-contact with foods containing gluten. Cross-contact can occur if foods are prepared on common surfaces, or with utensils that are not thoroughly cleaned after preparing gluten-containing foods.
Using hard to clean equipment for both gluten-free and gluten-containing foods is one potential source of cross-contact. Toasters, strainers, and flour sifters should not be shared. Deep-fried foods cooked in oil that are also used to cook breaded products should be avoided.
Spreadable condiments in shared containers may also be a source of cross-contact. When a person dips into a condiment such as mustard, mayonnaise, jam, peanut butter, or margarine a second time with the knife used for spreading, the condiment becomes contaminated with crumbs and is not safe for consumption by individuals who cannot tolerate gluten. Consider using condiments in squeeze containers, when you can, to prevent cross-contact.
Wheat flour can stay airborne for many hours in a bakery or at home and land on exposed preparation surfaces, utensils, or uncovered gluten-free products, potentially causing a problem for anyone avoiding gluten.
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