Fruit SaladFor me, and many people like me, choosing to eat gluten free is not a choice. It is a requirement if they want to feel healthy and lead a normal life.  Dealing with gluten intolerance or even being diagnosed with Celiac Disease is always difficult, but has gotten a lot easier than when I was first diagnosed. Permanent lifestyle changes must be made and adapted.

When making the change to gluten free foods you will need to become a label detective.  Reading labels will have to become your number one priority when grocery shopping.  You don’t want to have any type of wheat or gluten listed as an ingredient, and you must also look for hidden gluten.

Gluten shows up in some foods that you might not instantly think about. Liquorice and beer are just two examples of this. Other food choices that you want to avoid on a gluten free diet include:

  • All white pastas and flours
  • Baked goods including cakes and cookies
  • Pizza dough and flour tortillas
  • Malt vinegars
  • Canned Broth, (some of it contains wheat)

Within the above categories there will be many sub-categories including items like couscous, semolina and oats.  With oats some people find that they can tolerate oats in their diet while others cannot.  If you do decide to try oats then purchase a gluten-free brand, like Bob’s Red Mill Brand

The reason you want gluten-free oats, is because regular oats can be contaminated by wheat, rye or barley, while they are being grown.You may think that if you cut out the above foods, you will depriving yourself of your favorite foods.  Not to worry there are still plenty of good food choices left.

When going gluten-free you want to concentrate on adding lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. You can still eat potatoes and sweet potatoes are especially high in nutrition.

Corn is a product that you can still eat so you can still make corn tortillas for your dinner, along with fresh salsa. Rice and beans are other great food choices that pack plenty of nutrition.  You will want to choose brown rice or wild rice, (which isn’t rice at all but a grass), because brown rice is much more nutrient rich than white rice.

A less familiar product is Quinoa this is an ancient grain that is a complete protein.   Which means quinoa supplies all nine essential amino acids and is especially rich  in Lysine, which is the amino acid that is essential for healthy tissue growth and repair.  Here’s a blog post I wrote a while back about quinoa. In fact many vegetarian’s use this as a substitute for protein in their diets.

When it comes to baking you can replace nut flours for regular flours. It is possible to mix rice flour, potato flour along with your favorite flour so you can still bake your favorite baked dishes.  I don’t like the taste of bean flours so I make my own baking mix of brown rice, rice bran, white rice, potato, and tapioca flours.

You need to be aware that food additives may contain gluten and these can be in products that you wouldn’t even think contain this ingredient.

This list of tricky foods includes items such as salad dressing, soy sauce and some soy products. This is why becoming a food detective is so important.
I have a list of right off the store shelf items that are gluten-free here.

With a little research you will discover there are plenty of food choices for anyone on a gluten free diet. Check out your local grocery store for a gluten free section, you may be surprised at how many foods they have! 

And when in doubt, shop the perimeter of the grocery store.  That’s where the most healthful food is found anyway.