Gluten free eating has been steady in the news lately. You will find thousands of products on the market labeled gluten free and folks have been quick to toss these foods in their shopping carts. Unfortunately, many don’t even know what gluten is and why they are eating this way!
Gluten is a protein found mainly in grains such as wheat, oats, rye, barley, spelt, bulgur and the foods that are produced from these grains such as breads, pasta, crackers and cereals. Other foods that are not grain based such as ice cream, sauces, dressings, candy, soups, stews, deli and processed meats and non dairy creamers to name a few may contain gluten-based ingredients.
Gluten consumption in some can cause a severe auto immune response which can cause damage to the intestines, known as Celiac Disease; people with this disease have to eat an entirely gluten free diet. Some individuals may have gluten sensitivity or intolerance and are advised to avoid or at the very least moderate gluten intake to deter stomach discomforts.
With that said, most people can tolerate gluten just fine yet incorporating some gluten free foods into your diet is a good idea. Gluten free foods such as quinoa, brown rice, fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds are nutrient powerhouses. Be advised that gluten free products are not calorie free. Just as you would with other healthful food choices for weight management, be sure to moderate portions.
Whether you have Celiac Disease, are gluten intolerant/sensitive or want to try something different, take along my gluten free shopping list for a complete list of options in going gluten free.
Before you get going here are a couple tips:
• Not on the list or not sure? Check the label it should read Gluten Free.
• Wheat free is not the same as gluten free, if the product is made with a grain or flour not on the list below it is possible it may contain gluten. Example, rye bread is not gluten free. Again, check labels!
Gluten Free Shopping List
Meat, Fish, Poultry
• Fresh or Frozen
• Canned or dry beans and lentils
Nuts & Seeds
• Nuts & Nut Butters (almond, peanut, cashew, etc.)
• Seeds & Seed Butters (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame)
Fats & Oils
• Vegetable Oils (olive oil, canola, etc)
• Fresh, Frozen, Dried (plain)
• Fresh, Frozen (Plain)
Grains & Starches
• Amaranth (grain and flour)
• Bean Flours (black bean, chick pea, etc)
• Buckwheat groats
• Corn, cornmeal, corn flour, cornstarch
• Millet (gluten free)
• Nut & Seed flours (almond, coconut, etc)
• Oats & Oatmeal flour (gluten free)
• Potatoes, potato flour & starch
• Quinoa grains & flour
• Rice (whole), rice flour, rice bran
• Soy flour
• Sweet potatoes & flour
• Tapicoa (cassava, manioc)
• Products should be made with the above flours. It’s important to read ingredient list to ensure wheat is not added.
These products would be labeled gluten free. Example, rice cereals, bread, crackers that are made with rice, rice flour.
Condiments & Spices
• Dressings, Sauces should be labeled Gluten Free
• Fresh or dried herbs and spices
• Sugars (white, brown)
• Vinegars (expect malt varieties)