Eating Gluten Free means you have to avoid food made from wheat, barley, rye or oats. There are special Gluten free oats that are processed in a separate facility, and its safe to eat. You can eat food made from potato, rice, corn, soy, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, such as, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, millet, teff.
If you are new to gluten free diet, first thing you need to do is to learn how to read food labels. Companies are required to list Wheat if it’s one of the ingredients. But they are not required to list other sources of gluten.
Some of the hidden sources of gluten are:
- Soy sauce – regular sauce is made from wheat, so all the Asian and Chinese food needs to be cooked with a gluten free soy sauce (it’s called Tamari sauce). PF Changs restaurant is great at doing that. They have an extensive gluten free menu, and even special plates for gluten free diners, so there is no confusion. Salad dressings often contain soy sauce.
- Barley malt – a lot of times, it’s added for flavor. Rice Crispies cereal, for example, has barley malt, so it’s not gluten free, even thought it’s made from rice. They do have a Gluten version of Rice Krispies now. Beer is also made from barley malt. There are many gluten free beers now on the market.
- Modified food starch, natural flavor, artificial flavor – pay attention to the label when you see these words, and make sure that Wheat is not included with them.
- Latin terms: Triticum Vulgare (Wheat), Hordeum Vulgare (barley), Secale cereale (rye), Triticale (cross between wheat and rye) and Triticum Spelta (spelt, wheat variety). These ones are tricky. I’ve been using a lipstick by Clinique (long-last, soft shine line), and later found out that wheat was one of the ingredients. It was listed as Triticum Vulgare. A lot of beauty products use Latin terms in ingredients.
There are many more, so READ LABELS. Here’s a link to more sources of gluten.
- Watch out for foods:
- Creamy soups and gravy – could be thickened with flour
- Fried foods – could be fried in the same oil, as gluten containing foods, such as french fries
- Medications – gluten could be included in Inactive Ingredients
- Dressings – make sure soy sauce is not one of the ingredients
Fortunately, more and more restaurants and stores are offering gluten free products. It’s getting much easier to eat gluten free now then a few years ago. You don’t have to make so many things from scratch. Check out a list of some of my favorite gluten free products that you can order right on Amazon. It comes in bulk, but saves money. You could also sign up for Subscribe & Save for certain products, and save more money.
If it’s a young child that needs to start eating gluten free, here’s a Great book – The GF Kid. It’s written from a kid’s perspective, with great illustrations. My kids loved that book. Also, there is: Eating Gluten-Free with Emily