gluten free diet
mary

By Mary Frances Pickett

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Your Personal List of Gluten Free Foods

Organization can help anything – including living a gluten free lifestyle. By creating and keeping a list of gluten free foods, you’ll quickly see how helpful it can be. Here are 5 reasons (and there are certainly more!) to create your own list of gluten free foods.

  1. Shopping reference – A gluten free foods list is extremely helpful when it comes time to go grocery shopping. If you keep your list organized by store and by aisle, you will see how quickly you can accomplish your regular shopping trip. Some people choose to have an online list as well so that it’s easy to order all the gluten free foods that are not available locally.
  2. Keep track of favorites – With so many great gluten free products being introduced, it’s a good idea to keep track of which brands and items your family enjoys. You can even rate the items on your list. One way to get really organized is to use a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel and have columns for brand, item, store you buy it from, price and rating. No matter how you keep track of it, having a list of gluten free foods will help you know what you like – and also help you determine which products you have yet to try.
  3. Share with friends and family – If you are invited to dinner at a friend’s home, it’s nice to have a list of gluten free foods that you can share with them. Most people are happy to accommodate special dietary needs. With a list of gluten free food that works for a gluten free diet, your host or hostess will be well equipped to create a wonderful meal that works for everyone.
  4. Keep motivated – Having a huge list of gluten free foods that are OK to eat can be motivating. Any time you feel deprived or that you wish you could eat wheat, looking at your list will help you realize just how much food you CAN eat while staying healthy. A well built list can really serve to remind you how much variety is possible while remaining gluten free.
  5. Dining out – If you can bring a list of gluten free foods with you to a local family restaurant, chances are the chef can prepare an amazing meal for you – completely gluten free. More and more restaurants are realizing how important it is to be sensitive to dietary requirements. With a helpful list, you will make it much easier for the restaurant to help you.

Even if you find only one of these 5 reasons helpful, the time you spend creating the list will be well worth it.

Making your own Gluten-Free Food List

Learning to eat gluten free is an adventure. The easiest way to get off to the right track is to understand what you can eat and what you can’t. We’ve come up with a free gluten free food list to get you started on your own customized list. We’ll discuss what foods are naturally gluten free, what kinds of gluten substitutes you can buy and how to keep your kids happy as well!

Gluten Free – Naturally

There are hundreds of foods that naturally do not contain gluten. Keep in mind though that when you eat these foods raw or prepare them yourself you can be assured that you will not be consuming gluten, but if you buy them processed in any way there is a risk. Some methods of preparation can contain hidden gluten. For example, ingredients like ‘modified food starch’ do not really say what kind of starch it is. Does it come from wheat or corn? If it’s corn, it is no problem but if it’s wheat then you’ve got a gluten-containing product. The problem is, you can’t really know without contacting the manufacturer.Of all foods, natural foods are what belong on a safe gluten free food list because they have not been processed in any way.

Some naturally gluten-free foods are:

  • Fruits – Thank goodness you can enjoy apples, pears, oranges, bananas, grapes, cherries, melons and all other kinds of fruit without worry.
  • Vegetables – All veggies are gluten free. Salad greens, broccoli, mushrooms, green beans, potatoes, corn, peas, tomatoes – all fine as are all other vegetables.
  • Meats -All meats are naturally gluten free. So enjoy that bacon with breakfast. When you eat out, you will always be safe ordering grilled chicken or steak – just specify that they add nothing else to it.
  • Dairy – Eggs, milk and cream all are gluten free. Most cheeses are gluten free, depending on the manufacturing process.

Gluten Replacements

Instead of wheat flours look for flours made from rice, amaranth, corn, tapioca, potato starch, teff flour and other wheat, rye and barley substitutes. You can also find a wide variety of pre-made gluten free mixes on the market. Don’t forget beer! You can enjoy Gluten Free Alcohol as well, just be sure to check the ingredients.

Gluten Free For Kids

Creating a gluten free food list  for kids can be slightly more of a challenge. If your children are school-age, they may wonder why their friends can have macaroni and cheese and pizza and they cannot. The solution is to find a way to make all the popular “kid’s foods” in a gluten free way. Using gluten free flours, and even ready-made gluten free products from the store, you can create all your child’s favorites and be assured that they’re eating healthy too.

It is a good idea to stock up on kid-friendly products. Gluten Free Crackers, cookies and baking mixes are now all available in many grocery stores. Feeling different and deprived can be a challenge for some, so make living a gluten-free lifestyle easier by removing that feeling of deprivation by always having great foods available – whether you make them yourself or buy them ready-to-go.

Gluten Free Grocery Shopping

Now that you have an idea of what foods you can eat on your new gluten free diet, let’s talk about heading to the grocery store for the first time. This trip is most likely going to be a bit frustrating and will probably take a good bit longer than your average grocery shopping trip.

Planning For The Trip

There are a few things you’ll want to do before you head to the store. First off, plan to spend about twice as long on this trip as you usually spend in the store. Things will get faster as you get used to what foods you can and cannot eat, but the first couple of trips will involve a good bit of trial and error. So give yourself plenty of time to do things thoroughly so that you’re not rushed.

Second, if at all possible, leave your children at home. Having children along can make any shopping trip more stressful and doubly so on this one. Additionally, your children may not understand why they can’t get their favorite snacks anymore, and having to explain the situation to them in the store would be difficult.

Thirdly, plan a general menu before you go. It’ll be easier to get your shopping done if you have a general idea of what you want to get before you go. For instance, if spaghetti is on your menu, you’ll know before you get to the store that you need to find some gluten free pasta. If sandwiches are on the menu, you know you’ll need to find some gluten free bread.

Lastly, keep things simple. If you don’t have much experience cooking, then don’t plan to cook big, fancy meals. If you need to cook up a loaf of gluten free bread and feed your family sandwiches every night for the next week, that’s fine. Don’t try to do more than you know you can do.

One thing I should mention that can make planning for your trip and buying groceries easier is Triumph Dining’s Gluten Free Grocery Guide. It lists over 30,000 name brand and store-brand gluten free products from all over the country. If you want some help with your grocery shopping, definitely check out the guide. It can make things much easier.

At The Store

Once you’re at the store, try to stick to your list as much as possible. This will keep headaches to a minimum. Also, don’t be shy about asking a stock boy or another worker for help finding things. Simply explain you just found out you have a food allergy, and that you need some help finding some foods that you can eat. With more and more people hearing about celiac and gluten, it’s possible they may even know about gluten free food. With any luck, they’ll be able to make some suggestions and show you what they have available.

Lastly, the most important thing to do is to read labels. I have found gluten in items that I never would have thought would contain it, including ice cream, candy, salad dressings and more. If an item is not clearly marked “Gluten Free” don’t take the chance. Just read the label to make sure.

Good luck on your first GF shopping trip! Remember, things will get easier and quicker. In my next article, I’ll talk about some tips for gluten free cooking.

A Guide to Foods that Contain Gluten

One of the hardest parts about starting a gluten free diet is knowing where to begin. What foods are OK to eat? Which ones are gluten foods and should be avoided? Does this really mean that breads and cookies are now out the window? Do I have to prepare separate meals for the family? The key is to take things one step at a time and the first thing to do is create a list of foods that contain gluten. In this guide we’ll give you a head start by giving you a list of foods that contains gluten that you can add to as you explore your new lifestyle.

Foods that Contain Gluten

While it would be difficult to compile a complete list of foods with gluten, we’ve done our best. We’ve organized items by category to make it easier. One way to manage this list is to copy it into a word processor and add to it as you discover more foods that contain gluten. Better yet, use this list to eliminate foods and start another that is a Gluten Free Recipes that can work as your shopping list when you go out.

  • Grains – Wheat, Barley, Rye and Oats (unless specifically labeled gluten free oats)
  • Flours – Any flour made with any of the grains listed above. Other flours may also share equipment with wheat, barley and rye so check the packaging. If it doesn’t say “gluten free” it may not be. Check with the manufacturer to be certain.
  • Beer – Many beers are made with wheat, barley or rye. There are gluten free versions available however.
  • Baked goods – Breads, cookies, cakes, muffins, scones, bagels.
  • Breakfast foods – Waffles, pancakes, french toast, most cereals
  • Pastas
  • Hidden Gluten, check labels for: Starch, Malt, Malt flavoring, binders,  fillers, colorings, coatings, dextrins, gum base, maltodextrin, hydrolized protein, vegetable gum

While this is not a complete list, the basic rule is: avoid all foods containing any direct or indirect source of wheat, rye, barley and oats. Keep in mind that there are tons of gluten free flours and grains on the market that can provide an alternative set of ingredients for baking or cooking.

It’s a fact that there are an abundance of foods that contain gluten and wheat everywhere you look. The trick is to understand what these foods are and then create a plan to avoid them. You can eat amazingly delicious gluten free foods, it just takes a little time and planning. The health benefits are well worth the effort – and this list will help you on your way.

 

 

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