Monthly Archives: October 2010

Shopping For Gluten Free Foods

When you first set out on a gluten free lifestyle, you may wonder – where should I shop? Do I need to go to a specialty or health food store? Do I need to look for foods specially marked ‘gluten free’? Fortunately shopping for gluten free foods is fairly easy and straightforward. In this article we’ll give you a gluten free foods list, give you some ideas on where to shop and how to save on shipping costs. By the end of this article you’ll be armed with the information you need to find your favorite gluten free food, and maybe find a few new options as well.

A List of Gluten Free Foods

Since most foods are gluten free, the full list of gluten free foods is quite extensive. Here is a list broken down by category.

Fruits and fruit juice: All are gluten free
Vegetables: All are gluten free
Nuts: All are gluten free
Meats: All are gluten free
Milk, cheese, cream, butter: All are gluten free
Oils (vegetable, olive, sunflower): All are gluten free
Beans and Peas: All are gluten free

Gluten-Free Grains:
Rice
Amaranth
Corn
Millet
Montina
Quinoa
Sorghum
Teff
Wild Rice

Shop Locally

One of the great things about shopping at local stores is personal recommendations. If you go to a local gluten free store or health store, often employees can steer you toward popular products. Some stores even have samples of foods. Some stores, Trader Joe’s for example, will allow you to return any house product (Trader Joe’s brand) for a full refund if you don’t like it. What a great way to try new gluten free foods risk free!

Gluten Free Foods Online

The internet is an amazing shopping resource, particularly when you’re searching for specific products. Not only can you find ingredients list and particular nutritional values on most popular brands of foods, but a huge variety of gluten free retailers exist online. Whether you want to order gluten free flour from Bob’s Red Mill or you’re looking for gluten free pasta, chances are you’ll find it in just a few clicks.

If you do decide to order online, look for special offers for shipping. Some retailers will ship for free if you purchase enough product. If you order a lot at one time, but less often, you can save a fair amount on shipping alone.

As you can see, the variety of foods that you can eat while maintaining a gluten free diet is huge. The primary areas that are impacted are grains and products containing grains. With the introduction of so many gluten free baking products, finding substitutes is becoming easier every day. By learning a few shopping techniques you will quickly be able to find everything you need from gluten free pizza dough to gluten free soy sauce.

7 Things To Know About Gluten Free Food

What exactly is gluten free food? What are the benefits of eating a gluten free diet? Read on to learn 7 things about living gluten free.

1. What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, rye and barley. It’s the substance that gives dough its elasticity.

2. What is gluten free food?

Gluten free means that there is no gluten in the product. There is a huge assortment of food available that does not contain gluten – even products like cookies, bread, pizza and other foods you would normally associate with wheat.

3. Why eat a gluten free diet?

A growing percentage of people are becoming sensitive or allergic to gluten, and some have a more serious illness called celiac disease. Some common celiac disease symptoms are diarrhea, mental fogginess, and stomach pain several hours after eating gluten ,among other symptoms. By avoiding gluten it’s possible to completely eliminate these symptoms and lead a healthier happier life.

4. What kind of foods are gluten free?

Creating a comprehensive gluten free food list would take more space than we have for this article. This is simply because most food is gluten free! All vegetables, fruits, meats, dairy, legumes, oils and sugars are gluten free. As for grains: rice, buckwheat, corn, amaranth, quinoa, and sorghum are just a few that are gluten free.

5. Where can I buy gluten free food?

Most grocery stores stock a small percentage of gluten free items like gluten free pasta, gluten free bread, and other baked goods. More and more, gluten free flour is becoming available at your local grocer. For specialty items, the best bet is to check online or at a local health food store. Depending on where you live you may also be able to find specialty gluten free food stores.

6. Is gluten free food organic?

Not necessarily. Some companies do produce organic gluten free products, but not all, so be sure to check labels if buying organic is important to you.

7. Is gluten free food easy to prepare?

Yes! Gluten free cooking is fairly straightforward and easy to learn. If you are comfortable following a recipe you can make amazing gluten free foods. And if you prefer not to spend lots of time in the kitchen there are gluten free mixes and ready-made products too.

Gluten free food is a wonderful thing. New products are introduced all the time and gluten free flours and pastas mean that even if you can’t eat wheat you can still enjoy baked goods, pizza, spaghetti and more.

Living Life Gluten Free

If you or someone you know is gluten intolerant, has a gluten allergy, or has a more serious condition such as Celiac disease, you may be wondering how to change your diet to eliminate gluten. After all, gluten can be found in a wide variety of products found at the grocery store. It’s in obvious places like cereals, breads, bakery goods and pasta but it is also hiding in less-obvious places like soy sauce and even French fries. In this article we’ll discuss adopting the gluten free lifestyle and some tips and tricks to eating great, without the gluten.

Gluten Free Food

The great thing is – there is a ton of food out there that does not contain gluten. Beef, chicken, fish – all protein sources get the green light. Veggies, fruits, nuts – all are great choices for folks looking to avoid gluten. Rice is fine, as is cheese and dairy products. Fats and oils – no problem. What about pancakes and cookies and other baked items? If you use the right grain, you’ll be fine. Montina, buckwheat, millet, amaranth and quinoa are all grains that are gluten free – and that’s just a partial list. There are a wide variety of recipes out there – give gluten free bread a try!

Gluten Free Restaurants

With more and more people developing gluten intolerances or being diagnosed with Celiac disease, more restaurants are offering gluten free offerings. While there are few restaurants where the entire menu is gluten free, often you can find a restaurant where a selection of entrées do not contain gluten. Since you can’t read the packaging, be prepared to ask lots of questions. When in doubt, stick to meats and veggies.

A Gluten Free Diet Does Not Mean Giving up the Good Stuff

At first the thought of life without wheat seems daunting. Does that mean no more cookies? No pies? No beer?! Not at all – armed with the right information and good recipes you can make gluten free versions of all your favorite foods – without sacrificing flavor. You can even find a wide variety of gluten free beer. If you approach the gluten free lifestyle with energy and enthusiasm you’ll find an amazing assortment of foods and recipes to try – even gluten free cheesecake. With so many great tasting options, chances are you will not even miss the wheat – especially when you’ll be feeling great.

Life without gluten is necessary thing for people with intolerances, allergies and more severe conditions. Fortunately there are a huge variety of foods that don’t contain gluten – including all the good things in life. So think of a food you love, let’s say pizza, and challenge yourself to make the most amazing gluten free pizza in the world. Find a few recipes and give it a try. Chances are you’ll be more than happy you did.

Signs That You May Have A Gluten Allergy

If you think you may have a gluten allergy it’s in your best interest to read on. In this article we’ll explain what a gluten allergy is, what typical symptoms include and explore the diagnosis process. We’ll also look at treatment options if you are diagnosed with a gluten allergy. If you do suffer from a gluten allergy you’re not alone. There are many resources available online to help you with this diagnosis and by following a treatment plan you can eliminate most, if not all of your symptoms.

What is a gluten allergy?

Gluten intolerance and a gluten allergy are generally regarded as much the same thing. They both signify that your body has a negative reaction to gluten. However, they are both slightly different than the related celiac disease in one important way. Individuals with celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten because it damages their small intestines (in addition to the other symptoms of celiac disease). Individuals with an intolerance or allergy have symptoms of celiac disease but without the small intestine damage.

Gluten Allergy Symptoms

This is just a partial list of symptoms of a gluten allergy:
Abdominal pain
Diarrhea or constipation
Fatigue
Gas
Bloating
Heartburn
Irritability
Anxiety
Anemia
Poor immune function
Headaches
Nutrition malabsorption

Gluten Allergy Diagnosis

Most doctors will ask to do a gluten allergy test which consists of testing the blood. Depending on the results of the blood test, you may also be asked to have an intestinal biopsy. The biopsy is actually quite simple and will determine if you have a simple allergy or the more serious celiac disease.

Gluten Allergy Treatment

The treatment is the same for gluten allergies as it is for gluten intolerance and celiac disease. The treatment is to follow a strict gluten free diet. This means avoiding all foods that contain wheat, rye, barley and oats – and any product made from these grains. This is easier said than done as many products contain ingredients that have hidden gluten. The best way to adhere to a gluten free diet is to do your own cooking and cook only with ingredients you know are 100% gluten free.

One easy way to determine if you have an allergy is to follow a gluten free diet for a period of 4 to 6 weeks. If your symptoms drastically improve then you know that you should avoid gluten. With the right diet and an understanding of what gluten allergies are and how to combat them, you can have a happy, symptom free life.

Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Dermatitis herpetiformis is a very unpleasant disease which presents itself as an itchy rash accompanied by blisters and bumps on various parts of the body. It’s a chronic disease which means the symptoms continue over a long period of time. In this article we’ll present an overview of this disease including the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, complications and recommendations for prevention. By the end of this article you’ll have a general understanding of dermatitis herpetiformis and some ideas of what you can try to improve the symptoms of the disease.

Symptoms

The primary herpetiformis symptoms are an extremely itchy rash along with bumps and blisters. The rash and bumps generally appear on the knees, elbows, back, and buttocks. Symptoms can come and go. The area where the bumps appear can occasionally have a burning sensation.

Causes

The cause is unknown at this time. The disease has been linked to gluten intolerance, a gluten allergy and celiac disease. This disease impacts both men and women and generally affects people over 20, though occasionally it will develop in children.

Diagnosis

There are several tests that are generally done in order to get a positive dermatitis herpetiformis diagnosis. The first is a skin biopsy and then a direct immunofluorescence test of the skin. Some doctors also request a biopsy of the intestines. It is a lifelong illness but 10% to 20% of patience do see remission.

Treatment

Dermatitis herpetiformis treatment generally begins with Dapsone which is an antibiotic. This is initially prescribed to get the rash under control. Patients are then advised to follow a strict gluten free diet. By carefully keeping to a gluten free diet, patients can eliminate the need for medications and reduce the risk of future complications and related illnesses. It is important to note that while a gluten free diet will help this disease tremendously, recovery is slow and it may take months of strict adherence before noticeable improvement is made.

Complications

By following the recommendations of your doctor and by using recommended treatments this disease is usually very well controlled. Patients who do not receive treatment or do not follow their prescribed treatment plan have a significant risk of intestinal cancer. Thyroid disease is also present in many people with this disease.

Prevention

Current medical advice for the prevention of dermatitis herpetiformis is to avoid all foods that contain gluten. By keeping to a strict gluten free diet all symptoms can be avoided for the vast majority of people suffering from this disease.