Quick & Easy Gluten Free Guide

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If you’ve decided to remove or reduce your Gluten intake, whether it’s because you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, a gluten intolerance, or just want to try changing up your diet, it can be a little tricky at first.

First off, what is Gluten?  Wikipedia defines it as, “a mixture of proteins found in wheat and related grains, including barley, rye, oat, and all their species and hybrids”.

When I’m trying to explain what I’m able to eat with a Gluten Free diet as quick and simple as possible, I say Meat, Potatoes, Vegetables, and Fruits, but there are additional options when looking to identify what does not contain Gluten.

The largest benefit of eating less Gluten, is  you turn to more natural and less processed foods.

Below is a quick guide to what is “Gluten Free”:

Gluten Free Obvious Items

  • Fruits & Vegetables
  • Meat & Eggs
  • Nuts, Beans, and Legumes
  • Dairy
  • Fish & Seafood

Gluten Free Grains

There are also many grain alternatives to gluten, just make sure that you review the label to ensure they are not prepared in a facility that also processes wheat ingredients.  Here is a list of a few of the common Gluten Free Grain Alternatives:

  • Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Corn
  • Nut Flours
  • Tapioca
  • Soy
  • Gluten Free Oats

Gluten Free Alternatives

There are also a lot of alternative packaged Gluten Free items.  The popularity of the Gluten Free Diet has created a lot of branded and packaged items.  Most stores have started adding Gluten Free sections, I’ve even found that a lot of Walmart Superstores even have added a Gluten Free section. Some Gluten Free Options out there include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Gluten Free Pizza
  • Gluten Free Pasta
  • Gluten Free Pie Crust
  • Gluten Free Cookies
  • Gluten Free Cake and Cookie Mixes
  • Gluten Free Flour Mixes
  • Gluten Free Breads and Gluten Free Wraps
  • Gluten Free Beer

Beverages:

Most of the sports drinks, sodas, and teas are gluten free, again just check the label.  Beers, ales, lagers, and malt beverages that are made from gluten-containing grains are not distilled and therefore are not gluten-free.  Alcoholic beverages that are gluten free:

  • Wine
  • Gluten Free Beer
  • Cider Beer
  • Rum, tequila, and potato vodka are gluten-free
  • Any other items labelled Gluten Free

Vitamins and Supplements:

Check the label or the company’s website to confirm if the item(s) you are purchasing are Gluten Free.

Gluten Free Caution Items

The greatest advice I can provide from trying to go Gluten Free, is always check the label!  I always look for the bolded Contains section.  The main items that I didn’t think to check, but now know have gluten are:

  • Soups, the majority contain gluten
    • This includes Creamed soups, such as Cream of Chicken Soup
  • Broths, including, but not limited to; Chicken, Beef, Vegetable
  • Prepackaged Seasonings, including, but not limited to; Taco, Chili, and Salad Dressing Mix
  • Prepackaged Rice Mixes and Grain Mixes, such as Rice a Roni

You will be surprised how many of the prepackaged items contain Wheat.  As previously noted, just always be sure to check the label.  With all the hype and popularity of the gluten free diet, it has made it fairly easy to trasition to a Gluten Free Diet.

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