V: Tips for Going Gluten Free

If you have followed our FitNess category, you know staying in shape is a constant struggle. In the last decade or so, that struggle has escalated.  Now, my doctor has prescribed one week of a gluten-free diet and a celiac disease test.  Then, we’ll move on from there. Something tells me, though, I should be  saying goodbye to my delicious gluten-ridden foods for longer than a week. Breathing after a meal is kind of necessary, right?  Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease (Mayo Clinic).

No bread. No pasta. No beer. Just one week. What’s the big deal right?

Wrong. This thing should come with a handbook! Thankfully, Web MD already compiled a helpful cheat sheet

Common foods* that are usually made with wheat include:

  • Pasta
  • Couscous
  • Bread
  • Flour
  • Tortillas
  • Cookies
  • Cakes
  • Muffins
  • Pastries
  • Cereal
  • Crackers
  • Beer
  • Oats
  •  Gravy
  • Dressings
  • Sauces

The following terms represent the most commonly used Latin terms for wheat, barley and rye. If you see any of these, the product contains gluten**:

  • Triticum vulgare (wheat)
  • Triticale (cross between wheat and rye)
  • Hordeum vulgare (barley)
  • Secale cereale (rye)
  • Triticum spelta (spelt, a form of wheat)

The following terms represent ingredients that always contain gluten:

  • Wheat protein/hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Wheat starch/hydrolyzed wheat starch
  • Wheat flour/bread flour/bleached flour
  • Bulgur (a form of wheat)
  • Malt (made from barley)
  • Couscous (made from wheat)
  • Farina (made from wheat)
  • Pasta (made from wheat unless otherwise indicated)
  • Seitan (made from wheat gluten and commonly used in vegetarian meals)
  • Wheat or barley grass (will be cross contaminated)
  • Wheat germ oil or extract (will be cross contaminated)

Get a more depressing detailed list here. So, to begin my quest I navigated to the one place I knew would have plenty of gluten-free options. Whole Foods Market. Here were some of my finds…

pizza

cupcakes

noodles

While I was grateful for the signage, I still felt lost. Does everything have gluten?! Does everything without it cost $10+?! So here are a couple additional tips I gathered:

 

  • Start with the basics. Fresh fruits, produce, poultry and meats are a safe bet when you are just learning how to go gluten-free.
  • Find a grocery store that does a great job of labeling items with gluten. It will help you become acquainted. Expect to spend more time visiting, reading labels.
  • Learn to read labels. Use the aforementioned lists to help you.
  • Acclimate yourself with the top ten items to avoid. (Yes, salad dressing. I see you.)
  • You won’t have to say goodbye to your favorite foods. Just hello to new alternatives. Goodbye pasta from wheat. Instead, opt for pasta made from rice, corn or quinoa.
  • Rice and quinoa? Your new best friends.
  • Seek out help and guidance from other gluten-free gals, like Gluten Free Girl or Gluten Free Goddess.

It might take some navigation, but with the right support and knowledge it can be smooth sailing. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying delicious foods.

* American Diabetes Association

** http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/copingwiththediet/a/Gluten-On-Food-Labels.htm

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