If you have recently been diagnosed with Celiac disease or told you need to be on a gluten-free diet you might be thinking the same thing as me. How do you just cut wheat and most bread products out of your diet? It is not an easy process. While a lot of packaged foods say if they are gluten free or not, there are also a lot that do not tell you if they are or not. Here are some simple tips to help you to avoid gluten in your diet.
Tip one – You should avoid any dairy products, such as yogurt or ice cream, which contain fillers or additives. Also steer clear of processed cheese, cheese mixes, low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese or sour cream.
Tip two – Avoid the following alcoholic beverages: beer, gin and whiskey.
Tip three – You should stay away from cereals, breads or other grain products that include the following: wheat, rye, barley or oats. This includes white or whole-wheat flour which means cookies, crackers, cakes and most other baked goods, semolina, couscous, bread crumbs, most pastas and malt. If you love pancakes, then you should make them with buckwheat, which my celiac friend swears by.
Tip four – Canned soups and soup mixes have a history of not being gluten free and should be avoided if at all possible. Ditto for creamed vegetables.
Tip five – Prepared or processed meats may be gluten free but could be the victims of cross contamination and should be avoided for this reason.
Tip six- Avoid products that contain any of the following items: modified food starch, food starch, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, stabilizers or fat replacers or substitutes.
Tip seven – Try to find products in your grocery store that are labeled ‘gluten-free.’ Lately this disease has become more publicized and as a result more and more products are being made with the ‘gluten-free’ label. The Harris Teeter grocery chain has tags on all items on its shelves that are gluten-free. Additionally, organic grocery stores like Whole Foods are a great place to find all sorts of gluten free items that might not be available in your regular chain grocery store.
Tip eight – Be sure to avoid flavored coffee, malted milk or herbal tea with malted barley.
Tip nine – Eat oats only in moderation. Some current evidence suggests that up to 2 ounces of oats per day may be eaten by people with celiac disease with no adverse effects. Do so with caution though.
Tip ten – Do not dine out at restaurants as you will have no control over how the food is prepared, which could lead to cross contamination. If you do dine out, try to go to places that have gluten-free menus such as Outback Steakhouse. However, remember that you have no control over cross contamination. Also, a lot of people have had success talking to a manager at a restaurant that they frequent about their dietary needs.
As a general rule, these are the foods that do not contain gluten: products made with soybean or tapioca flours, rice, corn, buckwheat or potatoes. Some other gluten-free foods are: nuts; fresh fish, meat or poultry; fresh, frozen or canned vegetables without sauces; wine; and plain, natural cheeses and yogurt.