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Diet IconIntro: Gluten-Free Diet

Fortunately, living gluten-free is much easier than you might think.  You will, however, have to change your approach to eating a bit.

First, you’ll have to become a food label readerNew food labeling requirements make it much easier to determine what grocery items are gluten-free.  And, recent research into food ingredients has resolved whether or not common ingredients like caramel coloring, dextrose, maltodextrin, starch, etc. contain gluten.  So, you’ll have to pay attention to the labels but you’ll find a huge variety of foods that are gluten free without necessarily being labeled as such.

Happily, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, many grains, potatoes, fish and meats are gluten-free.  So are most dairy products including milk and most cheeses.

Processed foods really require some diligence on your part.  Canned and frozen vegetables and fruits are usually OK but be sure to check the labels anyway.  Soups, frozen meals commonly do contain gluten but not always.  Sauces and dry mixes run the gamut and there are differences between brands.  For instance, most soy sauces contain wheat but La Choy brand does not.  Ice cream usually is too but read the labels because flavors like “cookies and cream” obviously won’t work for you.

Folks who love bakery items and deep-fried foods have the biggest changes to make.  Nearly all the commercially available items in these categories contain gluten, either in the main ingredients (bread, pasta, pastries, sandwiches and breaded items) or by contamination (eg. deep fryer oil also used to fry breaded items).  Fortunately, there are bakeries who specialize in gluten-free baked goods.  Some restaurants have special fryers that are never contaminated.  Gluten-free foods, including pasta, breads, rolls, crackers, cakes and cookies are on many local grocer’s shelves and in their freezers.  And, there is a variety of  commonly available gluten-free cake and baking mixes as well as general-purpose flours that will substitute just fine in most recopies.  As for breading and thickening, there are many choices including old standbys like corn starch.

There’s lots to learn, of course, but you’ll be amazed how quickly you’ll catch on and finding gluten-free, satisfying foods on your grocers' shelves will become easy for you.

Important Disclaimer:
Information on this website, newsletters, links and other content is provided for educational purposes. We recommend you consult your heath care provider for advice regarding all medical concerns. As ingredients, menus, etc change without notice, we cannot ensure that information referenced within will remain accurate. In an attempt to provide accurate, useful information, we welcome comments, ideas, corrections and other feedback.